Longtime Rudy Giuliani ally Bernie Kerik plans to show up for a deposition in front of the Jan. 6 select committee this week. But he might not answer every question that is asked of him.
Kerik, the former NYC police commissioner — he led the NYPD on Sept. 11 — will appear before the panel on Thursday, where he’ll be asked about his role in helping to fuel Trump’s Big Lie crusade after the 2020 election. His lawyer Timothy Parlatore told Politico Monday that the panel’s subpoena seemed to be “facially valid,” but he suggested his client still reserves the right to walk out on congressional investigators.
Parlatore told Politico that the structure of the committee (none of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) picks are on the panel, for … reasons we are all well aware of) means the panel can’t technically hold a deposition. He said that vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) doesn’t count as a ranking member because she wasn’t hand-selected to participate by the minority leader.
It’s an argument that many of Trump’s allies have tried to use to justify their non-compliance with the select committee, avoiding subpoenas and formal depositions. As Politico noted, most witnesses called by the committee have agreed to participate in transcribed interviews to avoid the legally binding nature of a formal deposition. Kerik’s lawyer has previously hinted he would likely participate in a similar informal interview.
And Kerik has handed over some documents to the committee already, while also giving the panel a detailed description of documents included in a privilege log — material that he doesn’t plan to hand over.
While Kerik was a key adviser to former President Trump’s legal team who played a role in helping Giuliani discredit the 2020 election, if you’ve been reading TPM for a decade-plus, you’ll recognize Kerik’s name for a slew of other bizarre reasons.
Kerik was one of the many, many Trump allies that the former president pardoned during his four year term. As the former NYC police commissioner, Kerik’s time in leadership was ridden with scandal. We published this “Ultimate Kerik Scandal List” back in 2007 following his indictment, but some low-lights:
- In 2009 he confessed to several crimes related to a $200k-plus renovation of his home by a firm with ties to organized crime, including bribery charges and lying to the White House and NYC regulators about the whole thing. Former U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District Preet Bharara prosecuted the case against Kerik.
- He was also charged with several counts of tax fraud at the time, for wrongdoings related to the rent for his Upper East Side apartment, the writing of his autobiography and payments made to his nanny.
- He was once deported from Saudi Arabia after being hired to provide security at a hospital in the country. He was deported over allegations that he helped his hospital employer spy on female employees.
- He was accused of using a downtown Manhattan apartment that was donated for Ground Zero police and rescue workers to use to rest during the recovery effort to carry out affairs with at least two different women.
- Kerik actually faced several accusations of wrongdoing related to his various mistresses over the years, including allegedly having homicide detectives in his unit investigate one of his lover’s lost cell phone and necklace.
- He allegedly helped run a prison cigarette slush fund.
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