ADarkWeb

Rudy Giuliani AP sources Feds search NYC home office

Rudy Giuliani AP sources Feds search NYC home office

Rudy Giuliani's Apartment Searched in Federal Investigation Wed, 28 Apr 2021 10:00:00 -0700-NEW YORK (AP) — Federal investigators executed search warrants Wednesday morning at the Manhattan home and office of Rudy Giuliani, former President …

AP sources: Feds search Rudy Giuliani’s NYC home, office

AP sources: Feds search Rudy Giuliani's NYC home, office

By MICHAEL R. SISAK, MICHAEL BALSAMO and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office on Wednesday, seizing computers and cellphones in a major escalation of the Justice Department’s investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor once celebrated for his leadership in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges.

Agents searched Giuliani’s home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue , people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The warrants, requiring approval from the top levels of the Justice Department, signify prosecutors believe they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime — though they don't guarantee charges will materialize.

The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but it at least partly involves Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine, law enforcement officials have told the AP.

The people discussing the searches and Wednesday's developments could not do so publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. News of the search was first reported by The New York Times.

In a statement released through his lawyer, Giuliani accused federal authorities of a “corrupt double standard,” invoking allegations he's pushed against prominent Democrats, and said that the Justice Department was “running rough shod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J. Trump.”

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI’s New York office declined to comment Wednesday.

The federal probe into Giuliani's Ukraine dealings stalled last year because of a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought a second term. Giuliani subsequently took on a leading role in disputing the election results on the Republican's behalf.

Wednesday's raids came months after Trump left office and lost his ability to pardon allies for federal crimes. The former president himself no longer enjoys the legal protections the Oval Office once provided him — though there is no indication Trump is eyed in this probe.

Many people in Trump’s orbit have previously been ensnared in federal investigations, namely special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election interference. But most of those criminal cases either fizzled or fell apart. Giuliani’s is different.

Giuliani was central to the then-president’s efforts to dig up dirt against Democratic rival Joe Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter — who himself now faces a criminal tax probe by the Justice Department.

Giuliani also sought to undermine former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was pushed out on Trump’s orders, and met several times with a Ukrainian lawmaker who released edited recordings of Biden in an effort to smear him before the election.

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, told The Wall Street Journal that the searches pertained to potential violations of foreign lobbying rules and that the warrants sought Giuliani's communications with people including John Solomon, a former columnist and frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani, who pushed several baseless or unsubstantiated allegations involving Ukraine and Biden during the 2020 election.

Phone records published by House Democrats in 2019 in the wake of Trump’s first impeachment trial showed frequent contacts involving Giuliani, Solomon and Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who is under indictment on charges of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions.

Contacted Wednesday, Solomon said it was news to him that the Justice Department was interested in any communications he had with Giuliani, though he said it was not entirely surprising given the issues raised in the impeachment trial.

“He was someone that tried to pass information to me. I didn’t use most of it,” Solomon said of Giuliani. “If they want to look at that, there’s not going to be anything surprising in it.”

Everything was sitting “in plain view,” Solomon said. He said he believed his reporting had “stood the test of time” and maintained that he was “unaware of a single factual error” in any of his stories.

Solomon’s former employer, The Hill newspaper, published a review last year of some of his columns and determined they were lacking in context and missing key disclosures. Solomon previously worked for The Associated Press, departing the news organization in 2006.

The federal Foreign Agents Registration Act requires people who lobby on behalf of a foreign government or entity to register with the Justice Department. The once-obscure law, aimed at improving transparency, has received a burst of attention in recent years — particularly during Mueller's probe, which revealed an array of foreign influence operations in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors in the Manhattan office Giuliani himself once led — springing to prominence in the 1980s with high-profile prosecutions of Mafia figures — had pushed last year for a search warrant for records. Those included some of Giuliani’s communications, but officials in the Trump-era Justice Department would not sign off on the request, according to multiple people who insisted on anonymity to speak about the ongoing investigation with which they were familiar.

Officials in the then-deputy attorney general’s office raised concerns about both the scope of the request, which they thought would contain communications that could be covered by legal privilege between Giuliani and Trump, and the method of obtaining the records, three of the people said.

The issue was widely expected to be revisited by the Justice Department once Attorney General Merrick Garland assumed office, given the need for the department's upper echelons to sign off on warrants served on lawyers. Garland was confirmed last month and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco was confirmed to her position and sworn in last week.

Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays in New York and Colleen Long in Washington contributed reporting.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

By MICHAEL R. SISAK, MICHAEL BALSAMO and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office on Wednesday, seizing computers and cellphones in a major escalation of the Justice Department’s investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor once celebrated for his leadership in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges.

Agents searched Giuliani’s home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue , people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The warrants, requiring approval from the top levels of the Justice Department, signify prosecutors believe they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime — though they don't guarantee charges will materialize.

The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but it at least partly involves Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine, law enforcement officials have told the AP.

The people discussing the searches and Wednesday's developments could not do so publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. News of the search was first reported by The New York Times.

In a statement released through his lawyer, Giuliani accused federal authorities of a “corrupt double standard,” invoking allegations he's pushed against prominent Democrats, and said that the Justice Department was “running rough shod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J. Trump.”

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI’s New York office declined to comment Wednesday.

The federal probe into Giuliani's Ukraine dealings stalled last year because of a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought a second term. Giuliani subsequently took on a leading role in disputing the election results on the Republican's behalf.

Wednesday's raids came months after Trump left office and lost his ability to pardon allies for federal crimes. The former president himself no longer enjoys the legal protections the Oval Office once provided him — though there is no indication Trump is eyed in this probe.

Many people in Trump’s orbit have previously been ensnared in federal investigations, namely special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election interference. But most of those criminal cases either fizzled or fell apart. Giuliani’s is different.

Giuliani was central to the then-president’s efforts to dig up dirt against Democratic rival Joe Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter — who himself now faces a criminal tax probe by the Justice Department.

Giuliani also sought to undermine former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was pushed out on Trump’s orders, and met several times with a Ukrainian lawmaker who released edited recordings of Biden in an effort to smear him before the election.

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, told The Wall Street Journal that the searches pertained to potential violations of foreign lobbying rules and that the warrants sought Giuliani's communications with people including John Solomon, a former columnist and frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani, who pushed several baseless or unsubstantiated allegations involving Ukraine and Biden during the 2020 election.

Phone records published by House Democrats in 2019 in the wake of Trump’s first impeachment trial showed frequent contacts involving Giuliani, Solomon and Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who is under indictment on charges of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions.

Contacted Wednesday, Solomon said it was news to him that the Justice Department was interested in any communications he had with Giuliani, though he said it was not entirely surprising given the issues raised in the impeachment trial.

“He was someone that tried to pass information to me. I didn’t use most of it,” Solomon said of Giuliani. “If they want to look at that, there’s not going to be anything surprising in it.”

Everything was sitting “in plain view,” Solomon said. He said he believed his reporting had “stood the test of time” and maintained that he was “unaware of a single factual error” in any of his stories.

Solomon’s former employer, The Hill newspaper, published a review last year of some of his columns and determined they were lacking in context and missing key disclosures. Solomon previously worked for The Associated Press, departing the news organization in 2006.

The federal Foreign Agents Registration Act requires people who lobby on behalf of a foreign government or entity to register with the Justice Department. The once-obscure law, aimed at improving transparency, has received a burst of attention in recent years — particularly during Mueller's probe, which revealed an array of foreign influence operations in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors in the Manhattan office Giuliani himself once led — springing to prominence in the 1980s with high-profile prosecutions of Mafia figures — had pushed last year for a search warrant for records. Those included some of Giuliani’s communications, but officials in the Trump-era Justice Department would not sign off on the request, according to multiple people who insisted on anonymity to speak about the ongoing investigation with which they were familiar.

Officials in the then-deputy attorney general’s office raised concerns about both the scope of the request, which they thought would contain communications that could be covered by legal privilege between Giuliani and Trump, and the method of obtaining the records, three of the people said.

The issue was widely expected to be revisited by the Justice Department once Attorney General Merrick Garland assumed office, given the need for the department's upper echelons to sign off on warrants served on lawyers. Garland was confirmed last month and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco was confirmed to her position and sworn in last week.

Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays in New York and Colleen Long in Washington contributed reporting.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


قراءة المزيد

AP sources: Feds search Rudy Giuliani's NYC home, office Wed, 28 Apr 2021 10:00:00 -0700-Prosecutors obtained the warrant as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump's personal lawyer.

Federal Investigators Search Rudy Giuliani’s Apartment and Office

April 28, 2021

Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.

The search warrants mark a major development in the long-running investigation against Rudy Giuliani.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
April 28, 2021Updated 3:00 p.m. ET

Federal investigators in Manhattan executed search warrants early Wednesday at the home and office of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who became President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.

The investigators seized Mr. Giuliani’s electronic devices and searched his Madison Avenue apartment and his Park Avenue office at about 6 a.m., two of the people said.

The execution of search warrants is an extraordinary action for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president. It was a major development in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani and a remarkable moment in his long arc as a public figure.

As mayor, Mr. Giuliani won national recognition for steering New York through the dark days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and earlier in his career, he led the same U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan that is investigating him now, earning a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor who took on organized crime and corrupt politicians.

In recent years, however, his image has been sullied by his effort to help Mr. Trump to dig up dirt in Ukraine on President Biden’s son and Mr. Trump’s repeated attempts in court to overturn the results of the 2020 election with baseless claims of widespread fraud.

Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert J. Costello, called the searches unnecessary because his client had offered to answer prosecutors’s questions, except those regarding Mr. Giuliani’s privileged communications with the former president.

“What they did today was legal thuggery,” Mr. 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.”

F.B.I. agents on Wednesday morning also executed a search warrant at the Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Mr. Giuliani who had dealings with several Ukrainians involved in seeking negative information on the Bidens, according to people with knowledge of that warrant, which sought her phone.

Ms. Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official, has also represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch under indictment in the United States whose help Mr. Giuliani sought.

Federal investigators executed search warrants early Wednesday at Mr. Giuliani’s home and office, both on the East Side of Manhattan.Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

The federal authorities have largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for damaging information on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including Mr. Biden, who was then a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I. had sought for months to secure search warrants for Mr. Giuliani’s phones and electronic devices.

Under Mr. Trump, senior political appointees in the Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant, The New York Times reported, slowing the investigation as it was gaining momentum last year. After Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as Mr. Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.

While the warrants are not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, their execution shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase. To obtain a search warrant, investigators must persuade a judge they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of the crime.

Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

The investigation of Mr. Giuliani grew out of a case against two Soviet-born men who aided his mission in Ukraine to unearth damaging information about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of an energy company there. Prosecutors charged the men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with unrelated crimes in 2019 and a trial is scheduled for October.

While investigating Mr. Giuliani, prosecutors have examined, among other things, his potential business dealings in Ukraine and his role in pushing the Trump administration to oust the American ambassador to the country, a subject of testimony at Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

As he was pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens, Mr. Giuliani became fixated on removing the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, whom he saw as an obstacle to his efforts. At the urging of Mr. Giuliani and other Republicans, Mr. Trump ultimately ousted Ms. Yovanovitch.

As part of the investigation into Mr. Giuliani, prosecutors have explored whether he was working not only for Mr. Trump, but also for Ukrainian officials or businesses who wanted the ambassador to be dismissed for their own reasons, according to people briefed on the matter.

Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, it is a federal crime to try to influence or lobby the United States government at the request or direction of a foreign official without disclosing it to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors have scrutinized Mr. Giuliani’s dealings with Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the officials who helped Mr. Giuliani and his associates in their efforts to tar Mr. Biden while also urging them to work to get the ambassador removed.

Among other things, prosecutors have examined discussions that Mr. Giuliani had about taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparently unrelated consulting business from Mr. Lutsenko, which resulted in a draft retainer agreement that was never executed.

Mr. Giuliani has said he turned down the deal, which would have involved helping the Ukrainian government recover money it believed had been stolen and stashed overseas.

As the investigation heated up last summer, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents in Manhattan were preparing to seek search warrants for Mr. Giuliani’s records related to his efforts to remove the ambassador, but they first had to notify Justice Department officials in Washington, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Federal prosecutors must consult Justice Department officials in Washington about search warrants involving lawyers because of concerns that they might obtain confidential communications with clients. The proposed warrants for Mr. Giuliani were particularly sensitive because Mr. Trump was his most prominent client.

Career Justice Department officials in Washington largely supported the search warrants, but senior officials raised concerns that they would be issued too close to the election, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Under longstanding practice, the Justice Department generally tries to avoid taking aggressive investigative actions within 60 days of an election if those actions could affect the outcome of the vote.

The prosecutors in Manhattan tried again after the election, but political appointees in Mr. Trump’s Justice Department sought once more to block the warrants, the people with knowledge of the matter said. At the time, Mr. Trump was still contesting the election results in several states, a legal effort that Mr. Giuliani led, those officials noted.

Wednesday was not the first time that a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump was the subject of multiple search warrants. In 2018, the F.B.I. searched the offices of Mr. Trump’s previous personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, who later pleaded guilty to campaign finance and financial crimes. Mr. Trump called that raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

Continue reading the main story

Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.

The search warrants mark a major development in the long-running investigation against Rudy Giuliani.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
April 28, 2021Updated 3:00 p.m. ET

Federal investigators in Manhattan executed search warrants early Wednesday at the home and office of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who became President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.

The investigators seized Mr. Giuliani’s electronic devices and searched his Madison Avenue apartment and his Park Avenue office at about 6 a.m., two of the people said.

The execution of search warrants is an extraordinary action for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president. It was a major development in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani and a remarkable moment in his long arc as a public figure.

As mayor, Mr. Giuliani won national recognition for steering New York through the dark days after the Sept. 11 attacks, and earlier in his career, he led the same U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan that is investigating him now, earning a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor who took on organized crime and corrupt politicians.

In recent years, however, his image has been sullied by his effort to help Mr. Trump to dig up dirt in Ukraine on President Biden’s son and Mr. Trump’s repeated attempts in court to overturn the results of the 2020 election with baseless claims of widespread fraud.

Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert J. Costello, called the searches unnecessary because his client had offered to answer prosecutors’s questions, except those regarding Mr. Giuliani’s privileged communications with the former president.

“What they did today was legal thuggery,” Mr. 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.”

F.B.I. agents on Wednesday morning also executed a search warrant at the Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Mr. Giuliani who had dealings with several Ukrainians involved in seeking negative information on the Bidens, according to people with knowledge of that warrant, which sought her phone.

Ms. Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official, has also represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch under indictment in the United States whose help Mr. Giuliani sought.

Federal investigators executed search warrants early Wednesday at Mr. Giuliani’s home and office, both on the East Side of Manhattan.Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

The federal authorities have largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for damaging information on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including Mr. Biden, who was then a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I. had sought for months to secure search warrants for Mr. Giuliani’s phones and electronic devices.

Under Mr. Trump, senior political appointees in the Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant, The New York Times reported, slowing the investigation as it was gaining momentum last year. After Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as Mr. Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.

While the warrants are not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, their execution shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase. To obtain a search warrant, investigators must persuade a judge they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of the crime.

Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

The investigation of Mr. Giuliani grew out of a case against two Soviet-born men who aided his mission in Ukraine to unearth damaging information about Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of an energy company there. Prosecutors charged the men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with unrelated crimes in 2019 and a trial is scheduled for October.

While investigating Mr. Giuliani, prosecutors have examined, among other things, his potential business dealings in Ukraine and his role in pushing the Trump administration to oust the American ambassador to the country, a subject of testimony at Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

As he was pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens, Mr. Giuliani became fixated on removing the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, whom he saw as an obstacle to his efforts. At the urging of Mr. Giuliani and other Republicans, Mr. Trump ultimately ousted Ms. Yovanovitch.

As part of the investigation into Mr. Giuliani, prosecutors have explored whether he was working not only for Mr. Trump, but also for Ukrainian officials or businesses who wanted the ambassador to be dismissed for their own reasons, according to people briefed on the matter.

Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, it is a federal crime to try to influence or lobby the United States government at the request or direction of a foreign official without disclosing it to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors have scrutinized Mr. Giuliani’s dealings with Yuriy Lutsenko, one of the officials who helped Mr. Giuliani and his associates in their efforts to tar Mr. Biden while also urging them to work to get the ambassador removed.

Among other things, prosecutors have examined discussions that Mr. Giuliani had about taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparently unrelated consulting business from Mr. Lutsenko, which resulted in a draft retainer agreement that was never executed.

Mr. Giuliani has said he turned down the deal, which would have involved helping the Ukrainian government recover money it believed had been stolen and stashed overseas.

As the investigation heated up last summer, prosecutors and F.B.I. agents in Manhattan were preparing to seek search warrants for Mr. Giuliani’s records related to his efforts to remove the ambassador, but they first had to notify Justice Department officials in Washington, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Federal prosecutors must consult Justice Department officials in Washington about search warrants involving lawyers because of concerns that they might obtain confidential communications with clients. The proposed warrants for Mr. Giuliani were particularly sensitive because Mr. Trump was his most prominent client.

Career Justice Department officials in Washington largely supported the search warrants, but senior officials raised concerns that they would be issued too close to the election, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Under longstanding practice, the Justice Department generally tries to avoid taking aggressive investigative actions within 60 days of an election if those actions could affect the outcome of the vote.

The prosecutors in Manhattan tried again after the election, but political appointees in Mr. Trump’s Justice Department sought once more to block the warrants, the people with knowledge of the matter said. At the time, Mr. Trump was still contesting the election results in several states, a legal effort that Mr. Giuliani led, those officials noted.

Wednesday was not the first time that a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump was the subject of multiple search warrants. In 2018, the F.B.I. searched the offices of Mr. Trump’s previous personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, who later pleaded guilty to campaign finance and financial crimes. Mr. Trump called that raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.


قراءة المزيد

– April 28, 2021