Two of Fox News’ most frequent legal contributors were “working off the books” and assisting Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in unearthing political dirt on Joe Biden, his potential 2020 presidential rival — with no one in the administration besides the president himself aware of their freelance investigatory work on his behalf.
Ironically, it was Fox News itself that broke the story via Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, one of the few actual journalists on the cable news network and one of the even fewer willing to stand up for the truth in the face of the Trump administration’s gaslighting.
Wallace led his broadcast this morning with the breaking story involving the husband and wife legal team who are regular commentators on the channel.
“Two high-profile Washington lawyers, Joe diGenova, who’s been a fierce critic of the Democratic investigation, and his wife Victoria Toensing were working with Giuliani to get oppo research on Biden,” Wallace reported.
“According to a top U.S. official, all three were working off the books apart from the administration,” Wallace continued. “The only person in government who knows what they were doing is President Trump.”
Wallace’s report further calls into question the already shredded credibility of Giuliani who has denied working with any additional lawyers in his search for any possibly incriminating information on the Biden family to be gleaned from Ukrainian sources.
Giuliani denied ever sharing the dirty work with other attorneys when asked about it on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures by host Maria Bartiromo.
“No, I didn’t work with anybody to try and get dirt on Joe Biden,” the former New York City mayor clamed to Bartiromo.
Like Giuliani, both diGenova and Toensing have been staunch defenders of President Trump, and the pair were at one point last year scheduled to join Trump’s team of attorneys in defending him during the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the president.
Just a few days after it was announced that they would be joining his defense team, their participation was suddenly and unexpectedly terminated due to unspecified “conflicts.”
“The president is disappointed that conflicts prevent Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing from joining the president’s special counsel legal team,” Jay Sekulow, another one of the president’s lawyers said in a statement at the time. “However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters. The president looks forward to working with them.”
This morning we finally discovered what those “other legal matters” concerned and exactly why Trump was so looking forward to working with them.
The revelation also provides additional context to the internecine warfare that took place on the Fox News airwaves last week when diGenova appeared on Tucker Carlson’s prime time show and lambasted the network’s senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano for being “a fool” for determining that Trump had committed a crime when he asked “a favor” of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky immediately after Zelensky brought up the issue of purchasing missile systems to help in his country’s war against Russian invaders in the Eastern section of Ukraine.
Di Genova’s comments were condemned by mid-day anchor Shep Smith and led to nasty verbal exchanges between Smith and Carlson that only ended when top network brass intervened in Carlson’s favor, in what now looks like a serious case of misjudgment, given today’s disclosure of the undisclosed conflict of interest that the attorney and his wife were concealing.
Neither the White House nor the couple’s law firm, diGenova & Toensing, LLP, have issued any comments on the report as of press time, but it will be interesting to hear Trump level accusations of “Fake News” at his favorite news broadcaster during one of the only times that that label might actually be an inappropriate description of Fox News content.
You can watch Chris Wallace break the story on Fox News Sunday in the video below.
Breaking news on FOX News Sunday: Chris reports Rudy Giuliani did not act alone in trying to get dirt from Ukraine on Joe Biden… and much more.
Then– Kevin Corke discusses further information on the Trump whistleblower complaint and the Democrat's push for impeachment. pic.twitter.com/OpGRMArMHz
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) September 29, 2019
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Original reporting by Justin Baragona and Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.