Federal investigators searched the Manhattan apartment and office of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who previously served as New York City prosecutor and mayor of that city. Officials said the raid was part of an investigation into Giuliani’s business dealings with Ukraine. Federal prosecutors are investigating Giuliani’s role in trying to induce Ukrainian authorities to seek political dirt on Joe Biden. The effort to pressure Ukraine led to Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.
Searches were conducted Wednesday morning at the former mayor’s Madison Avenue apartment building as well as his Park Avenue office. According to the New York Times, FBI agents seized several electronic devices belonging to Giuliani, 76. Analysts say the searches are a sign that prosecutors are stepping up their investigation into former President Donald Trump’s lawyer.
In October 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that New York prosecutors were examining Giuliani’s bank records as part of an investigation into his dealings in Ukraine. Democrats said there was overwhelming evidence that Trump had abused his power by pressuring Kyiv to launch an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter by Ukrainian authorities. Otherwise, the then-White House leader promised to freeze nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. They also said that Trump had obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents related to the actions of his special envoy Rudolph Giuliani. The Bidens served on the board of directors of a Ukrainian energy company. Giuliani was also instrumental in the removal of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, as witnesses at Trump’s impeachment trial testified.
Giuliani himself has previously called the investigation “pure political persecution.” Investigators have so far released few details of the case, and it remains unknown whether the Republican will face any charges. The search warrant was signed by a federal judge. According to the Associated Press, warrants against attorneys such as Giuliani require the signatures of high-ranking Justice Department officials.
Giuliani began representing the former president in April 2018, when Trump was under investigation for his involvement in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. After Trump’s electoral defeat in November, Rudy Giuliani toured the country speaking to Republican state legislators to encourage local congressmen to overturn the result in favor of Donald Trump.