Rudy Giuliani’s former lawyers have sued him for about $1.3m in unpaid legal fees for representing him during investigations pertaining to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Robert Costello and his law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP filed the lawsuit in Manhattan state court on Monday, seeking full payment of Mr Giuliani‘s unpaid bills as well as costs and fees for their efforts to get him to pay up.
The lawsuit alleged Mr Giuliani agreed to pay over $1.5m under a retainer agreement, but only paid $214,000 and owes $1.36 million to the firm.
Mr Costello and the firm said Mr Giuliani, once celebrated as “America’s mayor” for his leadership after the 11 September 2001 attacks, breached the agreement with the company to pay invoices in full.
Mr Giuliani said he was hurt by the actions of Mr Costello, a longtime friend and his former lawyer, and said the bill “is way in excess”.
“I can’t express how personally hurt I am by what Bob Costello has done,” Mr Giuliani said in a statement provided by his spokesperson on Monday. “It’s a real shame when lawyers do things like this, and all I will say is that their bill is way in excess to anything approaching legitimate fees.”
Mr Costello represented Mr Giuliani from 2019 until July this year and represented him on special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Jan 6 Capitol riots, the lawsuit said.
He also advised him in a criminal probe by Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis of plotting to subvert Joe Biden’s election win, a Congressional inquiry and investigations into business dealings in Ukraine, which led to an FBI raid at his home and office in 2021.
In their lawsuit, Mr Costello and his firm claimed they provided legal assistance to Mr Giuliani in multiple civil lawsuits filed against him as well as in disciplinary proceedings that resulted in the suspension of his law licenses in both Washington, DC, and New York.
The latest lawsuit against Mr Trump’s ally exacerbates the former New York City mayor’s mounting financial problems, which have been amplified by expensive investigations, legal battles, fines, sanctions and damages arising from his efforts to assist Donald Trump in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
He was indicted last month in Georgia along with Mr Trump and 17 others by attorney Willis for attempts to overturn the 2020 election in the state.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges that alleged he acted as Mr Trump’s chief co-conspirator as his lawyer at that time.
Mr Giuliani is expected to face a substantial financial penalty following a recent judgment where a judge found him responsible in a defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers, who alleged he made false accusations of fraud against them.
The judge already mandated Mr Giuliani and his enterprises to cover legal fees exceeding $130,000 for the women.
In his efforts to dole out money, he put his Manhattan apartment up for sale for $6.5m in July. He also directed his social media followers to the website of his legal defence fund following his indictment.
Meanwhile, his son Andrew organised a fundraiser in Bedminster which was expected to raise more than $1m for his father’s mounting legal bills and said Mr Trump had committed to host a second event at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, later in the fall or early winter.