Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office early Wednesday morning, seizing electronic devices from both locations, advancing the investigative actions into the former New York City Mayor dealings in Ukraine under now President Biden’s Justice Department.
A neighbor who resides in Giuliani’s Upper East Side building told a source who told Floridian Press that the doorman greeted the seven agents at 6 am, letting them in when they displayed the search warrant without questioning which resident the warrant was being executed towards to.
According to the New York Times, who broke the story, the raid was a move tied to an investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine. The former New York City mayor has been under investigation for the past three years since early 2019 by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI over whether he violated federal lobbying laws by illegally lobbied former President Donald Trump on behalf of officials and oligarchs in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian officials reportedly helping Giuliani dig up information on Trump’s political rivals, including Biden, who was then the leading Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden over his dealings with Burisma. This would also be the trigger that began the first impeachment trial against Trump back in 2019.
Both the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI had repeatedly sought since the impeachment trial in 2020 to secure approval from the Department of Justice in requesting a search warrant for Giuliani’s phones and electronic devices. Those attempts were blocked under the Trump administration, and the objection was lifted once Biden’s Attorney General selection, Merrick Garland, was confirmed.
The execution of search warrants is an extraordinary action for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a former U.S. Attorney who ran the very office in the 1980s that executed the warrant and of a lawyer of a former president. While the warrants, according to the source, aren’t any accusation of wrongdoings, however, it now proves that under Biden’s tenure, the investigation is aggressively taking off without any roadblocks.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, called the warrant executed unnecessarily because his client had twice offered to answer prosecutors’ questions, except those regarding Giuliani’s privileged communications with the former president.
“What they did today was legal thuggery,” Costello said, saying the search warrant “involved only one indication of an alleged incident of failure to register as a foreign agent,” but didn’t specify the incident.
He also blasted the raid, calling it “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and noted the FBI “steadfastly declined” to take the copies of Hunter’s Biden hard drives when he “offered them on several occasions” during the search.
“It is outrageous that the Trump Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that hatred has driven this unjustified and unethical attack on the United States Attorney and Mayor who did more to reduce crime than virtually any other in American history,” the statement said.
“Keep in mind that the agents could not read the physical hard drives without plugging them in, but they took Mr. Giuliani’s word that the hard drives were copies of Hunter Biden’s hard drive and did not contain anything pertaining to Mr. Giuliani,” the statement added.
Costello told the Wall Street Journal the search warrant sought communications between his client and political reporter John Solomon of Just The News, who had communicated with Giuliani about efforts in pushing for the Ukrainian investigations of Biden before the 2020 election.
In an interview with ABC News, Costello also said that Giuliani’s longtime assistant, Joann Zafonte, was served a subpoena to testify next month before a grand jury.
Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani, blasted the FBI for the early morning raid and claimed that a judge appointed by former President Barack Obama signed the warrant.
“This is disgusting. This is absolutely absurd. And it’s the continued politicization of the Justice Department, as we have seen,” Andrew Giuliani told the press who were parked in front of his father’s Upper East Side apartment building. “And it has to stop. If this can happen to the former president’s lawyer, this can happen to any American. Enough is enough.”
“The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there,” Andrew added. “And it does not belong to my father. It belongs to the current president’s son.”
In his statement released by his lawyer, Giuliani denied any wrongdoing, arguing the search warrants demonstrated a “corrupt double standard” on the part of the Justice Department that is largely ignoring the “blatant crimes” by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Biden.
Both the press office for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI declined to comment.