Federal investigators have executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s apartment (Pictures: AP/Getty Images)
Federal investigators have executed a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
The search warrant obtained for Giuliani’s apartment in the Upper East Side in Manhattan signals the intensifying of a criminal investigation into his dealings with Ukraine, three sources told The New York Times on Wednesday afternoon.
Electronic devices belonging to Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, were among items seized by investigators, one of the sources said.
Giuliani is subject to federal probe into whether he in 2019 illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials who were helping him find damaging information on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The US Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI tried to obtain a search warrant for Giuliani’s phones for months. But senior political appointees under Trump within the Department of Justice reportedly attempted to block the warrant. The Justice Department no longer objected to the search warrant request after President Biden’s attorney general pick Merrick Garland was confirmed.
Federal authorities went after Giuliani after investigating two Soviet-born men who helped Trump’s personal lawyer dig up dirt on Biden and his son Hunter, who served as a board member for a Ukrainian energy company.
Prosecutors have looked into any business dealings Giuliani may have had in Ukraine as well as his influence on the Trump administration’s decision to remove Marie Yovanovitch, an American ambassador to Ukraine.
In addition, prosecutors have delved into whether Giuliani was working for Ukrainian officials or companies who wanted Yovanovitch ousted while he served as Trump’s personal lawyer, the sources with knowledge on the issue told The Times.
Prosecutors also explored Giuliani’s talks about taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting money from Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the Ukrainian officials who apparently helped dig for dirt on Biden and pushed for Yovanovitch’s removal. Giuliani previously said he turned down the deal with Lutsenko.
Due to concerns around obtaining confidential client information, prosecutors are required to run search warrant requests for lawyers by the Justice Department. Giuliani’s case was even more sensitive because his client was a president.
Since leaving the White House, Trump has distanced himself from Giuliani. In February, Trump’s senior adviser Jason Miller said that Giuliani is ‘not currently representing President Trump in any legal matters’.
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