The Giuliani campaign is promising the candidate will “announce key endorsement today.” Word is it’s former FBI director Louis Freeh.
My first thought was, that’s a nice feather in the cap for Rudy, but I don’t quite get all the secrecy (the release I was sent a moment ago still didn’t mention Freeh). Freeh donated the maximum amount permitted to Rudy back in February.
But then I saw that Freeh had also donated the maximum to McCain back in November.
Oh. That’s why it’s a big deal.
UPDATE: A Friend of McCain writes in that Freeh and Rudy are old friends, and points out:
Freeh Was An Ally Of Convicted Giuliani Political Benefactor Bill Fugazy. “A longtime political ally of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is named in court papers filed by the U.S. attorney for New Jersey as a partner in a complex kickback scheme with an official of the company that runs both the New Jersey and New York lotteries. William Fugazy – a limousine tycoon who also counts FBI Director Louis Freeh and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner as friends – has not been charged with any crime. But sentencing papers filed in another case involving GTECH, the lottery firm, accuse Fugazy of taking part in a kickback scheme worth at least $132,000…Fugazy was co-chairman and master of ceremonies at Giuliani’s first mayoral race fund-raiser in 1989, and is a member of the mayor’s much-heralded coalition charged with educating the public about the important contributions of immigrants.” (John Hassell, “Giuliani Ally Is Named In Lottery Firm Kickbacks,” Newark Star-Ledger, 1/17/97)
· Fugazy Was Convicted Of Perjury But Later Pardoned After Receiving Support From Giuliani And A Major Clinton Fundraiser. “A major fund-raiser for the Clinton library helped get the White House to pardon convicted perjurer William Fugazy after the Justice Department shot down the request, the Daily News has learned. New York supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis is a member of an elite advisory board to the Clinton library and has pledged to raise $1 million for the sprawling complex in Little Rock, Ark… Fugazy has long been a prominent fixture in New York’s political and charity scene. His nonprofit campaigns included fighting anti-Italian bias and raising money to restore Ellis Island. But by late 1986, his consulting company, Fugazy International, faced several suits and owed $10 million to banks and tax collectors, records show. He filed for personal bankruptcy. Prosecutors said he transferred assets to a company held in his children’s names but continued to play a central role in running the company. During a deposition in the bankruptcy case, he repeatedly lied about who owned the firm, prosecutors said. Under a deal, Fugazy pleaded guilty to one felony count of perjury. At his sentencing, he submitted letters of support from Giuliani, O’Connor and Morgenthau. He was sentenced in September 1997 to two years’ probation, including six months of home detention. Fugazy’s lawyer, former federal prosecutor Andrew Maloney, soon began pushing the Justice Department to pardon Fugazy. He submitted the Giuliani letter and got new letters from O’Connor and Morgenthau.” (Greg B. Smith, “Another New Bill Of Sale,” New York Daily News, 3/3/01)
Kind of an obscure charge and tie, but it suggests that McCain’s friends were ready for this, and aim to minimize any benefit to Rudy from today’s endorsement…
UPDATE: Hillary Spot reader Alan notes that Mrs. Freeh has given to Joe Biden. Sounds like one of those Carville-Matalin households.