Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Giuliani's home searched as U.S. probe of former Trump lawyer intensifies

WorldApr 28, 2021 09:06PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Giuliani speaks in Washington 2/2

By Karen Freifeld and Jan Wolfe

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Federal agents on Wednesday searched Rudolph Giuliani's Manhattan apartment and office, escalating their investigation into the Ukrainian business dealings of the onetime personal lawyer of former President Donald Trump.

A lawyer for Giuliani, 76, confirmed that search warrants had been executed, and that authorities had seized cell phones. The warrants included an allegation that Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent, a violation of lobbying laws.

Prior to the 2020 presidential election, Giuliani led an effort to dig up dirt on then-Democratic contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.

Biden defeated the Republican Trump and is now president. He and his son have denied wrongdoing.

In a statement, Giuliani's lawyer Bob Costello defended his client and suggested the investigation was politically motivated.

"Mayor Giuliani has not only denied this allegation, but offered twice in the past two years through his attorney Bob Costello to demonstrate that it is entirely untrue," the statement said. "Twice the offer was rejected."

Costello said the electronics seized were "replete" with information protected by attorney-client privilege.

Costello later said that prosecutors also had seized the work computer of Jo Ann Zafonte, Giuliani's longtime assistant. Zafonte is one of three Giuliani employees who have received subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Manhattan, he said. She is scheduled to appear in mid-May. Zafonte did not immediately return a request for comment.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.

Federal agents also executed a search warrant on Wednesday at the home of Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, who are spouses, Giuliani associates and former prosecutors, and seized Toensing's cellphone.

Toensing and diGenova have also represented Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who has been indicted in the United States on bribery and racketeering charges and has fought extradition from Vienna.

Federal prosecutors have been looking at Giuliani for nearly 1-1/2 years.

In November 2019, they sought records of payments to Giuliani as part of an active criminal investigation, according to a grand jury subpoena seen by Reuters.

Prosecutors were investigating money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice and violations of the federal Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the subpoena said.

FARA requires "certain agents of foreign principals" to periodically disclose their relationships with them, including financial transactions.

'SEISMIC MOMENT'

While the search warrant does not mean Giuliani committed a crime, it signals that investigators had reason to believe criminal conduct had occurred, and convinced a judge that a search might uncover evidence of a crime.

"This is a seismic moment in the investigation," said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

"It's a big deal to execute a search warrant concerning an attorney because of issues of attorney-client privilege," she added. "It's a bigger deal to execute a search warrant of an attorney who worked for the former president."

Giuliani gained renown in the 1980s as Manhattan's top federal prosecutor, taking on leaders of top Mafia families and Wall Street's "junk bond king" Michael Milken.

He later won national fame as "America's Mayor" for helping New York City recover from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year."

But Giuliani's image was stained by his dealings with Ukraine, and more recently by his promotion of baseless claims of fraud to overturn last year's election results and give Trump a second White House term.

COMPLEX ROLE

Giuliani began representing Trump, a fellow Republican and longtime fellow New Yorker, in April 2018 in connection with then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In Washington, Giuliani's role was complex, with the former mayor frequently proclaiming himself a business consultant and lawyer in the private sector even as he enjoyed extraordinary access to the halls of power.

While Giuliani has yet to be charged with a crime, two former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been charged with campaign finance violations and other crimes.

Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani investigate the Bidens, and undertake what prosecutors called an effort to remove then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Hunter Biden had sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company.

Giuliani's home searched as U.S. probe of former Trump lawyer intensifies
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Investing Man
Investing Man Apr 30, 2021 1:13PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Roger stone is worse
Jon Benton
Jon Benton Apr 28, 2021 10:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Lock him up !!!!
ELVIZ HotGaz
HotGaZ Apr 28, 2021 9:47PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So you go after the Mayor of America, the guy that uncovers the fraud of the Presidents son, for not registering as a foreign agent?  He made no secret about what he was doing, this is dangerous cancel culture at work.
Chris Cummins
Chris Cummins Apr 28, 2021 9:47PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I was hoping someone would support Rudy on the message board. I think it might say more about you than Rudy or cancel culture  or whatever.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email