President Donald Trump isn’t Rudy Giuliani’s only law client.
Giuliani is also defending a young woman accused in Broward County of trying to defraud Progressive insurance company.
We caught up with the White House’s newest lawyer Friday afternoon after his appearance before Broward County Criminal Court Judge Barbara McCarthy.
“I came to show the court she is just a young woman who made a mistake,” Giuliani said by telephone. “Like a character witness if you wish. She works for me and I’m in the best position to show she should be given a break in this instance.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“This has nothing to do with the president, by the way.
“I’m still working a few cases, three to be precise, and I’m taking care of them so that I can focus on the president 100 percent of the time.”
Giuliani, New York City's mayor when terrorists struck the city Sept. 11, 2001, is representing 32-year-old Vanessa Ryan, his personal assistant.
According to court records, Ryan turned herself in to authorities in December 2017 after she found out a warrant had been issued for her arrest, the result of an investigation by state insurance fraud sleuths on a complaint from Progressive.
According to arrest records, Ryan’s car insurance lapsed May 10, 2016, because she failed to renew it.
Eight days later, however, Ryan was involved in a minor car accident near Fort Lauderdale.
She later admitted to calling Progressive from the scene of the crash and renewing her insurance without telling the company she had just been in an accident.
She filed a claim the next day, triggering a fraud alert at Progressive.
Charged with two felony counts with a possible sentence of more than a year in prison, Ryan pleaded not guilty.
Friday, Giuliani attended a five-minute status conference, where he flanked Ryan.
“Vanessa has been working for me as an assistant for several months and she’s terrific,” Giuliani said. “I’ve also known her whole family. Her mother is a doctor I’ve known for years and her dad was a great Marine. This is the least I can do.
“A youngster like her doesn’t want a felony on her record. So we’re working on a deal to make sure she is not adjudicated guilty.”
Another hearing has been scheduled for July 9.
Fort Lauderdale attorney and Florida House candidate Michael Gottlieb, who was waiting his turn before the judge when America’s Mayor walked in, said Giuliani was escorted into the courtroom by 10 Broward County Sheriff’s deputies.
“I understand he needs security, but everybody at the courthouse noticed him,” Gottlieb said. “What was weird is that it was a nothing hearing, a ‘Hey, I’m here judge, how are you?’ five-minute hearing. I’m not sure the president’s lawyer should be doing this.”
The president hired Giuliani, 73, in April to join the White House’s legal team representing Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Since then, however, Giuliani has made several highly controversial TV appearances that contradicted the president on hush payments to porn star and alleged Trump paramour Stormy Daniels.