Giuliani No Longer Heads Consulting Firm Giuliani Partners Linked to Qatar
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has stepped down as head of his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, after months of refusing to disclose the firm's clients or the role he played.
Giuliani has been replaced as chairman by Peter Powers, a longtime friend and former aide, Giuliani Partners spokeswoman Sunny Mindel said Tuesday. The change was reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier Tuesday, and Mindel noted news stories over recent months saying Giuliani was handing control to Powers.
The firm, started by the former New York mayor when he left City Hall, earned Giuliani around $4 million last year. The spokeswoman did not say whether he would retain his interest in the company.
While insisting the firm's client list was confidential, Giuliani has noted the media have named a number of his clients.
Published reports have identified one client as the Persian Gulf country of Qatar, which was accused of sheltering suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, although today it is a U.S. ally.
Giuliani aides said he has not been involved in day-to-day operations of the firm since last spring. Yet Giuliani has never said so until now, despite being asked repeatedly about it. The firm's Web site listed him as chairman as recently as last month.
Asked in a Nov. 5 interview with The Associated Press to outline his role in the firm or list its clients, Giuliani laughed, then grew agitated:
"Everything I did at Giuliani Partners was totally legal, totally ethical," he said. "There's nothing for me to explain about. We acted honorably, decently."
He added: "There are some things that a law firm and security firm do that are confidential. You can't release it because the client asks for confidentiality. We do sensitive work. So maybe there are some exceptions like that."
Giuliani said it's unfair to ask for details about his consulting firm as well as his law firm, Bracewell Giuliani.
"What's the standard? Giuliani Partners and Bracewell Giuliani are firms. Nobody has ever accused them of doing anything wrong. So all of the sudden, you are going to start jumping to conclusions about them when there are absolutely no suggestion they have done anything wrong?"
Giuliani had income of $4.1 million from his share in the consulting business and $1.2 million from Bracewell between January 2006 and February 2007, he reported in financial disclosure forms filed in May.