When Clinton Was President, Giuliani Said Presidents Must Comply With Subpoenas


In 1998, Rudy Giuliani said if subpoenaed by a grand jury, the president doesn't "have a choice" but to testify.

In one of his numerous interviews of late, Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that President Donald Trump is under no obligation to comply with a subpoena should special counsel Robert Mueller decide to compel his testimony – but there is one particularly noteworthy person who disagrees with Giuliani’s line of reasoning.

And that person is Rudy Giuliani – back when he was the mayor of New York City and the president in question was Bill Clinton.

As President Donald Trump’s new legal counsel, Giuliani has undermined much of the president’s legal defense and admitted to a limited understanding of the facts. In a recent ABC This Week interview, he argued that presidents are exempt from subpoenas.

“We don’t have to. He’s the president of the United States,” Giuliani told host George Stephanopoulos. “We can assert the same privileges other presidents have.”

But what was Giuliani’s take on this very issue twenty years ago when Clinton was in the White House?

In a July 21, 1998 interview with Charlie Rose, he was asked about whether the president would have to testify before Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s grand jury if subpoenaed.

“You gotta do it. I’m mean you don’t have a choice,” Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York opined.

“Under the criminal law, everyone should be treated the same,” 1998 Giuliani said. “And I know there are some people that say the president should be treated stricter. We used to have an era where the president was treated much more leniently. But I think the right answer is the president should be treated — as far as the criminal law is concerned, the president is a citizen.”