Federal investigators executed a search warrant at Rudy Giuliani’s apartment in Manhattan as part of an investigation involving dealings with Ukraine, according to a Wednesday report.
The New York Times, citing “three people with knowledge of the matter,” reported that the feds executed a search warrant at the lawyer’s Upper East Side apartment as part of the investigation into his dealings with Ukraine — specifically, the accusations that he “illegally lobbied Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs.”
While the warrant is not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, it shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase. To obtain a search warrant, investigators need to persuade a judge they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of the crime.
Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
In September 2019 interview on CNN’s Cuomo Primetime, Giuliani said he asked Ukraine to look into then-candidate Joe Biden before clarifying that he “asked them to look into the allegations that related to my client, which, tangentially, involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scheme, not unlike what he did in China.”
“I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton,” he told host Chris Cuomo, who asked, “You never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden?”
“The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko, who was appointed, dismissed the case against AntAC,” he said.
“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?” Cuomo asked, prompting an, “of course I did” from the former New York City mayor.
“You just said you didn’t,” Cuomo said.
“No, I didn’t ask them to look into Joe Biden,” Giuliani countered. “ I asked them to look into the allegations that related to my client, which, tangentially, involved Joe Biden in a massive bribery scheme, not unlike what he did in China.”
President Trump's attorney says he had spoken with a Ukrainian official about Joe Biden's possible role in that government's dismissal of a prosecutor who investigated Biden's son. pic.twitter.com/FTaLGBV1zO
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) September 20, 2019
Giuliani reportedly met and interviewed former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in Kyiv in December 2019, prompting further speculation, as Breitbart News detailed:
Giuliani traveled to Ukraine to meet with Shokin and other former prosecutors, according to the New York Times. He was reportedly filming a documentary with the One America News Network (OANN), according to ABC News.
Giuliani’s interest in Ukraine stems from his effort to defend President Trump against claims of “Russia collusion,” which were ultimately debunked by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which was released in April. Some allegations of “Russia collusion” were reportedly fueled by Ukrainian sources working with Democrats, allegedly through a Democratic National Committee (DNC) contractor and former British spy Christopher Steele. Giuliani apparently hoped to use information gathered in Ukraine to defend Trump by explaining how the “Russia collusion” narrative began.
In addition, Giuliani became interested in the story of former Vice President Joe Biden’s intervention in Ukraine to ensure that Shokin was fired, during a time when Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
“As Biden himself later recalled, the Vice President personally threatened Ukraine with the loss of $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless Shokin was fired in 2016,” as Breitbart News reported.