Federal investigators executed a search warrant Wednesday on Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani’s New York City apartment and seized his electronic devices. The New York Times reports that the search warrant was executed as part of a criminal probe into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, which resulted in Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
“Executing a search warrant is an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president, and it marks a major turning point in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani,” the Times reports.
“The federal authorities have been largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the same time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for dirt on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including President Biden, who was then a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination,” the report continues.
“The United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I. had for months sought to secure a search warrant for Mr. Giuliani’s phones,” the report states.
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Trump appointees tried to block the warrant repeatedly, but elections have consequences, and now the Justice Department under Merrick Garland lifted the objection.
“Under Mr. Trump, senior political appointees in the Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant, The New York Times reported, slowing the investigation as it was gaining momentum last year,” the report continues. “After Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as President Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.”
“While the warrant is not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, it shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase,” the report continues. “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.”
Only the highest levels of the Justice Department would be able to approve of this warrant, meaning that Giuliani is likely sweating hair dye all over his bug-eyed face again.
You can read the full report here.