For Granite Staters worried that the 2024 presidential primary season wasn’t weird enough, Rudy Giuliani made a cameo appearance in Concord on Wednesday.
“I’m suing Joe Biden,” the diehard Donald Trump defender declared outside the Merrimack County Superior Courthouse as his attorney, former New Hampshire Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien, looked on.
Why is the former New York City mayor suing the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Because Biden smeared him as a “Russian pawn” during the final presidential debate of the 2020 general election held in Tennessee.
“What he did to me is intolerable. He called me a Russian operative. That is a lie. That is false,” Giuliani said. “That’s what’s called libel, defamation per se.”
And he came to Concord during the height of the First in the Nation presidential primary to make his point.
“You’ve gotta be sh***ing me,” one Republican operative responded when told the news by NHJournal.
Why sue in New Hampshire over an allegedly libelous attack made in Nashville? According to O’Brien, it is because of the state’s defamation laws.
“We have a rule in New Hampshire called the Single Publication Rule, and what that rule means is that when you can establish that a defamation occurred within the jurisdiction, within New Hampshire, the plaintiff can recover for each instance it occurred elsewhere,” O’Brien said.
Still, Guiliani’s appearance in Concord has many New Hampshire Republicans scratching their heads. Setting aside the merits of the case — and the bar for a public figure to win a libel case is extremely high — Granite State Republicans were asking why he would voluntarily put himself into the spotlight given all the negative publicity he has received in recent weeks.
For example, in August, Giuliani was hit with felony racketeering charges by a Fulton County, Ga. prosecutor over his alleged actions in attempting to overturn the 2020 election. He has already burned through two attorneys in that case due to his inability to pay, and a separate civil defamation trial is going on in Georgia, too,
And now there are new reports that the 79-year-old Giuliani has a drinking problem, something he denied at the Wednesday presser.
“I do not have an alcohol problem. I have never had an alcohol problem,” Giuliani insisted, arguing that “nobody could have achieved” what he has if they were a drunk.
“I was working 24 hours a day. It’s a big damn lie,” Giuliani said. “[If] I have an alcohol problem, I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
Giuliani’s press conference quickly devolved into a screed against the “Biden Crime Family” and the Democratic president, making claims about Hunter Biden’s business practices that can be heard every night on Fox News.
“Joe Biden has spent his life telling lies, getting away with it,” Giuliani said. “He gets away with it because you [the media] let him. You forced it on us. An American president who is a pathological liar.”
So, what was the real motive behind Giuliani’s lawsuit, GOP insiders asked?
“As Freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” O’Brien told NHJournal. (Though he loved cigars, there is no evidence Freud ever made that remark.)
“I certainly feel good being able to help out America’s mayor,” O’Brien added. “I can remember full well how discouraging it is to have those you thought were your friends and members of your own party generally believe the libels of the left.”
Meanwhile, Giuliani is facing legal action from his third ex-wife, who says he owes her more than $260,000 from their divorce settlement, a lawsuit that nearly sent the mayor to jail. And then there is the case of Giuliani’s former associate Noelle Dunphy, who accused him of promising to pay her a $1 million salary but instead sexually abused her over the course of two years.
Adding a lawsuit against the sitting president can only make Guiliani’s role in the 2024 election cycle more interesting. The question is, will he be relevant?