(CNSNews.com) – “The guy is a complete scoundrel. You can’t believe him,” Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said about Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, on Sunday.

Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union,” Giuliani explained why Cohen has every reason to lie about Trump.

Giuliani said in his experience, some people plead guilty “to things they didn’t do in order to get out of worse problems that they actually did.”

“So, it’s OK to go after the father-in-law?” host Jake Tapper asked Giuliani. (President Trump has tweeted that people should look at Cohen’s father-in-law, and some of Trump’s many critics have said Trump is trying to intimidate Cohen and obstruct justice by bringing up the father-in-law.)

“Of course it is — if the father-in-law is a criminal,” Giuliani said.

“And the Southern District of New York, in the plea, wanted him (Cohen) to go to jail and said he’s lying. They don’t buy the special counsel’s approach. They say he’s lying because he’s holding back information that is far more damaging than the lies that he is sharing with them now. Now, what is that information about?” Giuliani asked. “It’s about his father-in-law.”

Giuliani noted that Cohen’s father-in-law came to the U.S. from Ukraine and may “have ties to organized crime.”

The father-in-law ran taxicab businesses in both New York City and Chicago, and press reports say he once pled guilty to federal income tax fraud related to his New York business. Cohen got involved in the taxicab business through his father-in-law.

“When somebody testifies against your client, you go out, and you look at what’s wrong with them. Why are they doing it, if they’re not telling the truth?” Giuliani said.

“He’s doing it because he’s afraid to testify against his father-in-law, because the repercussions for that will be far worse than the repercussions for lying here. Because now he gets applauded in New York, where the crazy anti-Trumpers applaud for him.

“He goes and testifies against some people that are possibly in organized crime, they ain’t going to be applauding for him when he goes into a restaurant in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, believe me.”

Giuliani, a former prosecutor, said he’s seen this kind of thing before.

“This guy is lying. It’s disgraceful that you’re relying on Cohen,” Giuliani said, speaking about the liberal media in general and BuzzFeed in particular.

Giuliani said Cohen’s father-in-law “was involved in criminal activity with Michael Cohen. And Michael Cohen is withholding it, because to testify about that would be very dangerous to the father-in-law and Michael Cohen. And instead, he’s going after the president, which the special counsel and all the liberals are applauding him for.

“That’s what is going on. That is a defense to a criminal accusation. And, if we can’t do that, we’re not in America,” Giuliani added, as Tapper ended the interview.

In a rare move over the weekend, the Special Counsel’s office debunked a BuzzFeed report relying on “law enforcement sources” who said there’s evidence that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the scope and timing of a proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Giuliani on Sunday said the Trump Tower project was run by Michael Cohen, and it “never got beyond a nonbinding letter of intent.”

“And it was being done while Donald Trump was running for president of the United States, and wasn’t focused on that at all, and it was the last thing on the president’s mind. He was running for president of the United States. You know how busy that is. We’re talking about 2016. You’re not thinking about some proposal that, at best, it’s three years down the line.”

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