Rudy Giuliani, who has helped oversee a string of failed court challenges to President Donald Trump’s defeat in the election, asked the president’s campaign to pay him $20,000 a day for his legal work, multiple people briefed on the matter said.
The request stirred opposition from some of Trump’s aides and advisers, who appear to have ruled out paying that much, and it is unclear how much Giuliani will ultimately be compensated.
Since Giuliani took over management of the legal effort, Trump has suffered a series of defeats in court, and lawyers handling some of the remaining cases have dropped out.
A $20,000-a-day rate would have made Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has been Trump’s personal lawyer for several years, among the most highly compensated attorneys anywhere.
Reached by phone, Giuliani strenuously denied requesting that much.
“I never asked for $20,000,” said Giuliani, saying the president volunteered to make sure he was paid after the cases concluded. “The arrangement is, we’ll work it out at the end.”
He added that whoever had said he made the $20,000-a-day request “is a liar, a complete liar.”
There is little to no prospect of any of the remaining legal cases being overseen by Giuliani altering the outcome in any of the states where Trump is still fighting in court, much less of overturning President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College and popular vote victory. Some Trump allies fear that Giuliani is encouraging the president to continue a spurious legal fight because he sees financial advantage for himself in it.
The Trump campaign has set up a legal-defense fund and is said to be raising significant sums to continue legal challenges in places like Pennsylvania and Georgia. A Trump campaign spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
Giuliani had sought compensation for his work dating to the day after Election Day, when Trump began publicly claiming that he won despite the results, according to people familiar with the request, who asked for anonymity to speak about sensitive discussions.