June 24, 2024
Feds Raided Giuliani Over Ukraine Suspicions, Unsealed Papers Show

Feds Raided Giuliani Over Ukraine Suspicions, Unsealed Papers Show

(Headline USA) Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in 2021 because they suspected the former New York City mayor had sought the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine partly because of the prospect of a financial reward from a Ukrainian official, according to documents made public Tuesday.

The documents provide new detail on the since-concluded investigation into Giuliani’s dealings with Ukrainian figures in the run up to the 2020 presidential election. Giuliani, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, was not charged with a crime as a result of the inquiry.

In a search warrant application, federal agents seeking to seize Giuliani’s cell phones, laptop and other electronic devices raised the possibility that he and three other people could be charged with acting as unregistered foreign agents.

The documents, unsealed at the request of The New York Times, confirmed past news reports that federal prosecutors in Manhattan were examining whether Giuliani had gotten anything of value in return for lobbying the Trump administration to fire then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

The warrant application said Giuliani had been “incentivized” to lobby for the ambassador’s removal in two ways.

First, it said, the prosecutor general in Ukraine who wanted the ambassador fired, Yuriy Lutsenko, had offered to hire Giuliani to lobby the Trump administration for help recovering Ukrainian assets he believed had been misappropriated by a U.S. investment firm.

“Giuliani was interested in being engaged to do that work, and proposed a retainer with a $200,000 upfront payment,” the warrant application said. “Thus, it appears that Giuliani took steps to cause the firing of the Ambassador to prove … what he could achieve.”

Secondly, the application said, Giuliani wanted Lutsenko’s help launching an investigation that might hurt Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

Both Lutsenko and Giuliani have previously denied there was anything inappropriate about their interactions.

Prosecutors noted that the proposed $200,000 retainer was never paid, but federal agents wrote that they believed Giuliani’s worsening finances may have motivated him to consider the deal.

In their search warrant application, they cited bank records and other information showing he’d gone from having about $1.2 million in the bank and $40,000 in credit card debt in January 2018 to about $288,000 in cash and $110,000 credit debt in February 2019.

Giuliani has said he also never lobbied the Trump administration on Lutsenko’s behalf.

In November 2022, federal prosecutors revealed in a letter to a federal judge that Giuliani would not face criminal charges in the investigation.

“Based on information currently available to the Government, criminal charges are not forthcoming,” they wrote. They said the grand jury probe that led to the seizure of Giuliani’s electronic devices had concluded.

Giuliani tweeted soon afterward that it was a “COMPLETE & TOTAL VINDICATION.”

The contours of the investigation were broadly known even before its conclusion, but details of what evidence prosecutors were acting on when they sought to search Giuliani had not been revealed.

The Times wrote to the judge in October seeking copies of the search warrants, warrant applications, supporting affidavits and other documents.

Giuliani consented to releasing the search warrant documents, according to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken’s order unsealing them.

The documents contained numerous redactions, with many names and other identifying information blacked out. Trump’s name appeared in the documents more than two-dozen times. There was no suggestion that investigators suspected Trump of wrongdoing.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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