Giuliani working for foreign clients while serving as Trump’s attorney
WASHINGTON — Rudy Giuliani continues to work on behalf of foreign clients both personally and through his namesake security firm while serving as President Trump’s personal attorney — an arrangement experts say raises conflict of interest concerns and could run afoul of federal ethics laws.
Giuliani said in recent interviews with The Washington Post that he is working with clients in Brazil and Colombia, among other countries, and delivering paid speeches for a controversial Iranian dissident group.
He has never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of his overseas clients, asserting it is not necessary because he does not directly lobby the US government and is not charging Trump for his services.
His decision to continue representing foreign entities also departs from standard practice for presidential attorneys, who in the past have generally sought to sever any ties that could create conflicts with their client in the White House.
‘‘I’ve never lobbied him on anything,’’ Giuliani said, referring to Trump. ‘‘I don’t represent foreign government in front of the US government. I’ve never registered to lobby.’’
Carrie Menkel-Meadow, a legal ethics professor at University of California-Irvine, said it is generally unwise for the president’s lawyer to have foreign business clients because of the high likelihood they will have competing interests.
‘‘I think Rudy believes because he is doing the job pro bono the rules do not apply to him, but they do,’’ Menkel-Meadow said.
Two White House spokesmen declined to comment on Giuliani or whether his work for foreign entities posed any conflict of interests for the president.