MANHATTAN (CN) — In an apparent escalation of the Department of Justice’s investigation into the former New York City mayor’s business dealings in Ukraine, federal investigators searched Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office this morning, the New York Times first reported Wednesday.
Federal agents executed a search warrant around sunrise early Wednesday morning at Giuliani’s apartment on Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office for the seizure of his electronic devices as part of a criminal investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, the New York Times reported.
Federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York had been coordinating an ongoing investigation with Justice Department officials in Washington for months seeking access to Giuliani’s phone and electronic communications, NBC reported in December 2020.
Giuliani’s son Andrew, a former Trump aide, spoke to the press Wednesday afternoon. He accused the Justice Department of “politicization” and called the searches “disgusting” and “absolutely absurd.”
“If this can happen to the former president’s lawyer, this can happen to any American. Enough is enough,” the younger Giuliani fumed. “The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there, and it does not belong to my father. It belongs to the current president’s son.”
Prior to serving as New York City’s mayor from 1994 to 2001, Giuliani led the so-called “Sovereign District” now investigating him, where he served as the office’s top prosecutor, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from June 3, 1983 until January 1, 1989.
A spokesperson for Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.
Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, and Andrey Kukushkin were indicted in October 2019, accused by the Department of Justice’s Public Corruption Unit of funneling political donations through a limited-liability company and employing straw donors. Southern District of New York prosecutors brought additional counts in September 2017 in a superseding indictment.
That trial, previously set for March 2021, has been delayed indefinitely. The businessmen’s past connections to Giuliani did not net last-minute relief for any of the four during Trump’s slew of pardons during the final week of his presidential term.
In the wake of the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2020, the New York State Bar Association announced that it launched an inquiry to determine whether Giuliani should be removed from the association’s membership rolls.
Immediately preceding the storming of the Capitol building by far-right extremists, Giuliani incited pro-Trump attendees of a nearby “Save America” rally to “have trial by combat.”
“Over the next 10 days we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we’re wrong, we will be made fools of,” Giuliani said. “But if we’re right, a lot of them will go to jail,” he said on Jan. 6 following months of pushing debunked claims that Dominion Voting Systems machines had been tampered with to tabulate votes in Joe Biden’s favor.
Later that month, a group of attorneys called Lawyers Defending American Democracy called on a New York disciplinary panel to immediately suspend Giuliani’s law license pending an investigation into his thwarted effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in favor of former President Donald Trump.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday afternoon.Follow @jruss_jruss
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