On the October 25 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk, host Martha MacCallum reported on recent allegations that during the 1980s, "John Gotti, the late head of the Gambino crime family, along with four other powerful mafia family bosses, at one time thought about and talked about ... whacking" Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who then was a U.S. attorney. Following the report, MacCallum asked attorney Arthur Aidala: "But in terms of Rudy Giuliani and his presidential aspirations, does this help him, this story? Does it make him, you know, even more, sort of, invincible?"
The New York Times reported on October 26 that the alleged plot against Giuliani "was revealed on Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn during the murder trial of R. Lindley DeVecchio, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation supervisor. State prosecutors have accused him of revealing confidential information to his prized informer, helping to set up four killings." According to the Times:
Amid Mr. DeVecchio's voluminous investigative records, prosecutors found a typewritten note referring to a tip from his informer, Gregory Scarpa Sr. The note said that the family bosses were split 3 to 2 against the proposition of killing Mr. Giuliani, with the Gambino boss John J. Gotti and the Colombo boss Carmine Persico on the losing end.
The Times also reported that "the plot, as described, drew some skepticism from experts on the Mafia, including former law enforcement officials," adding: "For one thing, assassinating a prosecutor would go against decades of tradition. American Mafia leaders have generally treated their organizations as businesses primarily concerned with making money. Killing law enforcement officials, in this view, would only draw unwanted scrutiny."
From the October 25 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk:
MacCALLUM: Rudy Giuliani, as we mentioned on the way to the break, says he's a big fan of the mafia thriller movies The Godfather and probably The Godfather [Part] II as well, but according to a bombshell record that was just made public -- this is fascinating -- new court testimony reveals that John Gotti, the late head of the Gambino crime family, along with four other powerful mafia family bosses, at one time thought about and talked about -- there's a look at those mafia bosses -- about whacking Rudy. Fox's Eric Shawn has been following this story for many, many years, and he joins us with this story. Hey, Eric.
SHAWN: Hey, Martha. "Well, it is the one vote I want" -- that the reaction today of Rudy Giuliani to the news that the mafia considered rubbing him out, but decided to spare him. The claim has surfaced in that mafia-related trial that's now ongoing in New York. The claim that in the 1980s, when Mr. Giuliani was the U.S. attorney for the New York area and was prosecuting mob bosses -- the mafia commission, the ruling body of the mob -- that they voted whether or not to kill him. The result: 3-2 against rubbing Rudy out.
Giuliani's office at the time tried all five bosses of the mafia families that ruled organized crime in our country. It was known as the commission trial. As it turns out, they were all convicted and sentenced to 100 years in prison. One boss, though, who was not part of that trial was John Gotti, who went on to become the head of the Gambino crime family. The prosecutor's memo from 1987 says that informants claim that the bosses split on putting that hit on Giuliani, with "yes" votes coming from John Gotti and the head of the Colombo crime family, Carmine "The Snake" Persico, all voting to whack Rudy. There were allegations, though, that later Persico tried to put his own contract out on Giuliani. Persico, by the way, is still in prison. Mr. Gotti has since died.
As for Giuliani, he jokes that early in his career the mob put out a contract on his life for $800,000, but the price went down over the years.
GIULIANI [video clip]: Right near the end of the time I was a United States attorney, another organized crime figure that got angry, took it personally that we put him in jail for 100 years, put out a contract on me, to kill me, again. This time for $400,000. I was going in the wrong direction.
SHAWN: That reference, obviously, to Carmine "The Snake" Persico. The one mobster that I talked with -- this guy -- actually liked Giuliani! In 1999, I met with Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. Gravano had been Gotti's underboss, and Sammy "The Bull" told me that, yes, he supported Giuliani in his race in Senate against Hillary Clinton. Gravano said -- I remember the quote very well -- "Hey, the guy cleaned up New York City! Take a look!" So, believe it or not, Gravano actually supported Rudy. We don't know if he still is a Rudy supporter, because Mr. Gravano, a few months later, was arrested for drug dealing, and now, Martha, is in prison for the rest of his life.
MacCALLUM: About what he thinks about anything these days. Eric, thank you so much. Let me go straight to Arthur Aidala on this. I know you've been, you know, watching some of this trial that we're talking about here unfold. But in terms of Rudy Giuliani and his presidential aspirations, does this help him, this story? Does it make him, you know, even more, sort of, invincible?
AIDALA: Well, I definitely -- I think it highlights at a national level how involved he was in taking out organized crime. And he was, I mean the bottom line is that I've been at that trial, I was there today. It's a trial against an FBI agent who was cooperating with organized crime in tipping their hand. Does it help Rudy? That's -- we're focusing on what he did that period in his life? Yeah.