Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign is increasingly concerned that the controversy swirling around former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik could negatively impact his White House aspirations.
Kerik pleaded guilty in 2006 to state conflict-of-interest charges for accepting $165,000 in gifts from an allegedly mob-linked construction firm.
He currently faces a possible indictment from the U.S. attorney’s office for tax crimes and other offenses stemming from renovations to his Bronx apartment from the firm Interstate Industrial Corp., while he was corrections commissioner under then New York City Mayor Giuliani.
Giuliani’s law partner Marc Mukasey has now been told to monitor the criminal investigation of Kerik, and he has thwarted Kerik’s attorney from interviewing witnesses who might help his defense, the New York Post reports.
Mukasey, who joined the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani in 2005, is the son of Michael Mukasey, a Giuliani friend nominated by President Bush to become the next U.S. attorney general.
In monitoring the Kerik probe, Mark Mukasey is “obviously trying to distance Giuliani from all [the allegations about Kerik], although obviously it all occurred on Giuliani’s watch,” a source with knowledge of the Kerik probe told the Post.
A source told the paper that Mukasey has “made it impossible” for Kerik’s lawyer Kenneth Breen to interview witnesses who work at Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm founded by Giuliani after he left the mayor’s post.
Kerik has been a thorn in Giuliani’s side for some time. In December 2004, the Rudy crony was nominated by President Bush to succeed Tom Ridge as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. But after a week of press scrutiny, Kerik withdrew acceptance of the nomination, stating that he had unknowingly hired an undocumented worker as a nanny and housekeeper.
Disclosures about his connection to Interstate arose later. Kerik has also taken heat over a sexual harassment lawsuit and a reported affair with publisher Judith Regan.
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