Newly discovered early glimmers of legal brilliance from “America’s lawyer.”
1951. Seven-year-old Rudy Giuliani is caught by his mother with his hand in the cookie jar and crumbs around his mouth.
MRS. GIULIANI: Rudy, I told you not to eat the cookies!
RUDY: You said, “Don’t not eat the cookies.”
MRS. GIULIANI: I didn’t say that.
RUDY: You just admitted “I didn’t not say that.”
MRS. GIULIANI: You’re adding “not” to sentences to make them mean the opposite.
RUDY: (laughs boisterously) I’ve listened to hundreds of maternal statements, and it wasn’t until the third time I replayed what you said in my mind, because there’s no way to easily record conversations in the current year — 1951 — that I heard the “not.” And even if your original statement is what you didn’t not say it wasn’t not, could you actually prove that I ate multiple cookies?
MRS. GIULIANI: No, but that’s beside the —
RUDY: Being told “don’t eat the cookies” and eating a single cookie isn’t a federal crime, correct?
MRS. GIULIANI: We’re moving the goal posts from “I didn’t eat the cookies” to “I ate a single cookie, which isn’t a federal crime”?
RUDY: Who tipped you off to the alleged cookie theft?
MRS. GIULIANI: Your cousin.
RUDY: Cousin Michael’s been a known liar and a tattler for years.
MRS. GIULIANI: Two days ago, when he swore you didn’t finish the apple pie cooling on the window sill, you said he was “an honest and honorable cousin.”
RUDY: That was before he made these ridiculous allegations. What kind of scoundrel watches his cousin eat a pie off a window sill?
MRS. GIULIANI: So you’re confessing that you did eat the pie?
RUDY: Hypothetically, when in fact I wasn’t there, and also there never was a pie. Or a window sill.