Rudy Giuliani raided by police investigating Ukraine dealings

Article Image Federal Agents Raid Rudy Giuliani's New York Apartment

While the search warrant does not reflect that Giuliani is guilty of any crime, it shows that investigators have taken the probe to an "aggressive new phase", the Times noted. Once Merrick Garland took office as President Biden's attorney general, the warrant was given a green light.

The warrants, which require approval from the top levels of the Justice Department, signify prosecutors believe they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime - though they don't guarantee charges will materialise. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The search warrant and seizure of electronic devices are a major turning point in the probes against Giuliani - and could have an impact on former President Trump.

Agents searched Giuliani's home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press.

Federal prosecutors reportedly have eyed Giuliani for more than two years now, questioning whether he'd secretly lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials. The New York Post reported that "a call to Giuliani's cellphone went straight to voicemail Wednesday afternoon".

As part of the same investigation, agents on Wednesday also searched the home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer and Giuliani ally, according to a spokesperson for Toensing.

The two businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested and indicted in October 2019 as part of what the government said was a "foreign national donor scheme" that allegedly sought to funnel foreign money to American political candidates.

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The defense had argued it was impossible to find an impartial jury in the city, which was rocked by protests over Floyd's death. Chauvin's actions more leniently from the perspective of a police officer working in a stressful and unpredictable situation.

Giuliani eventually became a key figure into whether Trump abused his office for personal political gain in his dealings with Ukraine.

The effort to pressure Ukraine led to Mr Trump's first impeachment in 2019.

Giuliani's role in Washington was complex, with the former mayor frequently proclaiming himself a business consultant and lawyer in the private sector even as he enjoyed extraordinary access to the halls of power.

That consulting work posed no risks when it was confined to foreign soil, but raising anything on behalf of foreign clients with US officials could raise potential violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, which requires lobbyists to disclose when they are working on behalf of foreign governments, according to legal experts. The lawyer said Giuliani kept talking, apparently unaware that he had not hung up, and said his phone number was "soon to be gotten rid of".

In a statement released through his lawyer, Giuliani accused federal authorities of a "corrupt double standard", invoking allegations he's pushed against prominent Democrats, and said that the Justice Department was "running rough shod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J. Trump". Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY also declined to comment.

He later won wide acclaim as "America's Mayor" for his efforts in helping New York City recover from the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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