“Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office 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 76-year-old former New York City mayor once celebrated for his leadership after 9/11, 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 Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The warrants, which required approval from the top levels of the Justice Department, signify that prosecutors believe they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime — though they do not guarantee that charges will materialize.
A third search warrant was served on a phone belonging to Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and close ally of Giuliani and Trump. Her law firm issued a statement saying she was informed that she is not a target of the investigation.”
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.
Trump’s spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about Wednesday’s events.
Many people in Trump’s orbit have been ensnared in previous federal investigations, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election interference. Some, like former Gen. Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, were pardoned. While there were discussions about a pre-emptive pardon for Giuliani, it did not materialize.
Trump, his aides and many prominent backers were silent on the action Wednesday, with no widespread denunciations or “witchhunt” claims. Trump, who remains barred from Twitter, issued a statement on an Arizona election recount, but steered clear of defending his longtime lawyer, whose loyalty he had long professed to admire.
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.
Federal investigators seized Rudy Giuliani’s electronics during a raid of his Manhattan apartment, and social media users went wild.
Donald Trump’s personal attorney is under investigation for his dealings in Ukraine that helped get the former president impeached a first time, and investigators finally got the search warrant they had long sought but had been blocked from obtaining by senior political appointees in his client’s Justice Department.
Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty for crimes he committed while serving as the former president’s attorney, joined in the fun, along with Giuliani’s former henchman Lev Parnas — whose arrest helped lead to the investigation.
‘Things the feds recovered from Rudy Giuliani’s apartment:
– file marked “CRIMES, 2016 to present”
– receipt from Philadelphia porn shop located next to Four Seasons Total Landscaping
– 55-gallon drum of hair dye from Ukraine
– 37 burner phones, all damaged from being sat upon’