Rudy Giuliani Breaks Down Blagojevich Case

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: The debate over whether to impeach Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich raged in the state House again today as questions continue to mount over if there was even a legal case to be made against the governor.

Joining us tonight, former New York City mayor himself, and a former United States attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Good to see you, Mr. Mayor.


HANNITY: By the way, Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

GIULIANI: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Merry Christmas.

GIULIANI: Happy New Year.

Video: Watch Sean & Alan's interview

HANNITY: I want to ask as a — as a former prosecutor, you understand the way the rules are played here. One of the biggest questions that has emerged is why didn't they wait? Now we understand the Tribune had the story, sat on it, they revealed that he was going to — that these conversations were being taped, but did they make a mistake?

Is there a chance that Blagojevich can get off?

GIULIANI: Well, I think that Fitzgerald, we have to give him credit for being one heck of an expert prosecutor. Whether you agree on what he did or didn't do, this is a guy who really knows what he's doing, and I — can only guess from the outside. I'm not involved in the case.

First of all, there was the risk that Blagojevich would name a senator which would be a disaster. It would be a disaster for that person, disaster for the Senate, you'd end up, you'd end up with someone tainted.

Second, there was a risk he was going to find out about it, and I'm sure they were concerned about destruction of evidence, and I remember occasionally being concerned about this when I was investigating cases that everybody would get their story together, and you want the element of surprise.

HANNITY: Well — and certainly — look, he didn't reveal in his criminal complaint, I'm sure, because that's usually.

GIULIANI: Of course, right.

HANNITY: ... standard operating procedure.

GIULIANI: I'm sure he's holding a lot back.

HANNITY: And he's also now — there are going to be people who's going to sit on a chair and say, you're facing 15 years. What do you know?

GIULIANI: Oh Absolutely. Absolutely.

HANNITY: And so they're going to make deals.

GIULIANI: Yes, I mean, I — I remember cases that we're able to get right to the end, and able to, you know, break it exactly when we wanted. And I remember others, I remember the Parking Violations Bureau case here in New York City when Donald Manes attempted suicide.


GIULIANI: All of the sudden, a case we were investigating, actually the case originated in Chicago. We were investigating, we had to bring it down in a flash.

HANNITY: There's been a lot of, a lot of attorneys that I've spoken to say the conviction is not a sure thing, in spite of the fact of a conspiracy that talk about the Service Employees International Union.

Is there — is a conspiracy enough, in other words, saying I want to sell the seat, I want money?

GIULIANI: You need, you need — the key here to look for is the overt act. You've got to have an agreement to commit a crime between two people, and they have to do something to bring the crime about.

HANNITY: Right. But they don't have — they didn't — do you think they did enough here then?

GIULIANI: I don't know. I haven't — I mean I haven't seen all the evidence. I assume because he is so good.

HANNITY: That he has it...

GIULIANI: That he's got it. Yes.

HANNITY: Well, you know, those.

GIULIANI: I'm assuming.

HANNITY: Those were critical.

GIULIANI: I'm assuming it. I don't know.

HANNITY: I know those were critical, though, in the Valerie Plame case. He knew from the very beginning of that investigation that Richard Armitage was the leaker, and that was the original mandate.

GIULIANI: And I have real questions about that but he won the case. And he won and he won it on appeal.


HANNITY: Let me ask you about.

GIULIANI: And that was — that was a tough case.

HANNITY: Let's talk about the political side of this. We have Rahm Emanuel involved, apparently on tape, according to many as many as 21 times, specifically handing a list of names over acceptable to Barack Obama.

Barack Obama had said I have absolutely had no contact, but meanwhile he sent an emissary to get contact. Is he going to — is his credibility going to be questioned because of lack of.

GIULIANI: I don't think we should presume that. I think that'd be really — first of all, although it's difficult in a situation like this with all this information, you've got to assume or presume that the governor is innocent, but beyond that, even though that's hard with all the evidence that's out there and the language he was using, we've got to give that benefit to Rahm Emanuel and to the president-elect.

COLMES: Hey, Mr. Mayor...

GIULIANI: There's nothing out there, there's nothing out there that I have seen that suggests they did anything wrong.

COLMES: Welcome back to our show.

GIULIANI: Who knows? Who the heck knows?

HANNITY: We don't know.


COLMES: We had — good to have — good to see you once again, sir.

GIULIANI: Good to see you.

COLMES: We had Victoria Tensing on our show last night, prosecutor. She says there's nothing to indicate he received anything of value that impeachment talk may even be pretty immature because, you know, they may have talked about it, but they don't have anything.

GIULIANI: Impeachment is a different thing. Let's assume they don't have an overt act, so you don't get to the criminal part, which I have to believe somewhere they must have. But even if they don't, you would impeach somebody on less than committee if a governor is talking about, any governor is talking about, and you've got him on tape, I'm going to sell the Senate seat, it would seem to me that that's good grounds.

COLMES: Is that all you need?

GIULIANI: I think if you had a governor on tape saying I'm going to sell the Senate seat to the highest bidder, goodbye.

COLMES: Well, does he have to use the word sell? Or he could just say, look, I want something in return? I mean how far away from the word sell can he get?

GIULIANI: I think — I don't think he was too far away from — I think if you're talking about had they made out a case of an agreement that he was formulating, that's a darned good case. Is there an overt act? How far did it go?

So, look, I'm not an expert on impeachment in Illinois, but if this were the president of the United States saying I'm going to sell an office, that president would be impeached, and he should really resign.

COLMES: But his lawyers are going to argue.

GIULIANI: ... for the good of the state, for the good of his party, he should resign.

COLMES: Comes up last night with Tensing, "Or his lawyers will argue, he's just being a blow hard, he's just saying things, he knows he's being taped."

So, you know?

GIULIANI: OK, again.


GIULIANI: That's a good reason to throw him out as a governor, and then let's fight about it in the criminal court. If — a governor is enough of a blow hard to be pretending to take a bribe.

COLMES: Right.

GIULIANI: ... for a Senate seat, goodbye governor.

COLMES: Also, Fitzgerald under fire for saying that the statements he made were unethical because he indicated that, you know, he had done something wrong, something a prosecutor should not indicate, you know, and — until after — I mean did he cross the line because of what he said?

GIULIANI: I don't think so. I don't think so. I think — it's all in the complaint. It's all alleged. He's talking about allegations. Given the nature of this case and how flamboyant it was, I mean, how — shocking it was.

COLMES: Yes, but should a prosecutor do anything to heighten the public's condemnation of a defendant?

GIULIANI: I don't think he did that. I think the facts spoke for themselves. There's nothing that he said that were worse than reading that complaint with the language that was used in it and the people talking in the background, and the — there is no question that something grossly unethical was done in this situation.

Just his talk about putting this up for sale, for the president-elect — I mean we get this, we get this victory which was a great thing for the country — look, I'm a Republican, I wanted John McCain to win, but I have to say for the country this was a great thing that happen.

For this guy to be talking about selling that seat, he should be impeached.

COLMES: You're hopeful for this presidency will have — will really break ground?

GIULIANI: Look, I'm an American — the success of this country is more important to me, my children and my friends and everyone else.

COLMES: Will you ever run again?

GIULIANI: I want, I want him to be successful.

COLMES: Will you run again?

GIULIANI: I would like Barack Obama to be successful.

COLMES: You didn't answer — will you run again.

GIULIANI: I have no idea.

COLMES: What are you — in terms of the New York Senate, do you have a favorite in terms of whether Caroline Kennedy, Andrew Cuomo.

GIULIANI: Now you want me to really give them the kiss of death. If I announce a favorite.


GIULIANI: I just think — there is one thing I have to say to you, though.

COLMES: What's that?

GIULIANI: Doesn't the criticism of Sarah Palin's qualifications would look a little hypocritical?

HANNITY: Go get him.


GIULIANI: Come one, she was.


COLMES: Hold one. Wait a second.

GIULIANI: She was a mayor, she is a governor, she was elected — she worked her way up through the ranks.

COLMES: Wait a minute. I have questions whether Caroline Kennedy is the right person.


COLMES: ... for the job. My question, is she — and a lot of progressives are feeling that way. Where was she during the fight for progressive to get back into power?

GIULIANI: I mean she may or many not.

COLMES: She's never expressed interesting in public in having an elected office. She never went through the electoral process.

GIULIANI: OK. All right.

COLMES: I think there are a lot of people even on my side questioning whether Caroline Kennedy...

HANNITY: Hey, can I ask a question?

GIULIANI: All right.

HANNITY: Are you going to run for governor of New York?

GIULIANI: I have no idea what I'm going to do in the future. I really don't.

HANNITY: I'll support you. You voted (INAUDIBLE) for mayor, will you support him?

COLMES: On the liberal ticket.


COLMES: You ran on the liberal line?



GIULIANI: I don't think it exists anymore.

COLMES: That's right. Coming up.


HANNITY: He uses the word progressive.

COLMES: You ran as the — no, I'm a liberal. You ran on the Liberal Party, right?

GIULIANI: I did. When I — I ran for mayor, I did.


GIULIANI: I did. I did all three times.

COLMES: That's right.


COLMES: And that's why I voted for him.

Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Content and Programming Copyright 2008 FOX News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2008 ASC LLC (, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, Inc.'s and Voxant Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.