Federal authorities raided Rudy Giuliani’s New York City apartment and office Wednesday morning as they took the criminal investigation into his dealings in Ukraine to the next level.
Three people with knowledge of the investigation and the executed search warrants told The New York Times investigators seized Giuliani’s electronic devices and searched his properties around 6 a.m.
Lawyer Robert Costello called the searches of his client’s property unnecessary because Giuliani said he would answer any questions that did not have to do with his privileged communications with former President Donald Trump.
“What they did today was legal thuggery,” Costello said.
“Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States?”
The warrants were executed as part of the federal probe into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration for Ukrainian officials and oligarchs in 2019.
Giuliani previously said he helped convince Trump to remove then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, but investigators are looking into whether the former president’s personal lawyer committed a crime in doing so, Forbes reported.
“I forced [Yovanovitch] out because she’s corrupt,” Giuliani told Fox News in 2019.
“I came back with a document that will show unequivocally that she committed perjury.”
Giuliani also said he passed information to Trump that allegedly showed Yovanovitch was impeding investigations into the Biden family and other Democrats, according to The Associated Press.
“I just gave them the facts,” Giuliani said at the time.
“I mean, did I think she should be recalled? I thought she should have been fired. If I was attorney general, I would have kicked her out. I mean — secretary of state.”
Prosecutors are investigating if Giuliani was also working for Ukrainian officials or businesses who wanted Yovanovitch to be removed, The Times reported.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act makes it a federal crime to influence or lobby the United States government for a foreign official without disclosing it to the Justice Department.
Giuliani’s dealings with Ukrainian official Yuriy Lutsenko, who helped Giuliani dig up dirt on Trump’s political rivals, are among the many in question.
Federal prosecutors sought search warrants for Giuliani’s records last summer, but senior Justice Department officials were concerned about the warrants being served too close to the election, people familiar with the matter told The Times.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.