Federal investigators raided former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment on Wednesday and seized his electronic devices, as part of a criminal probe into his dealings in Ukraine ,The New York Times reported.
Investigators finally obtained a search warrant against Giuliani, after their efforts to secure one failed under the Trump Justice Department. The Justice Department lifted its objection to the warrant after President Biden’s nominee Merrick Garland was confirmed as attorney general.
Authorities have been investigating whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who were allegedly helping him to dig up dirt on then-candidate Joe Biden.
Two sources familiar with the investigation told The Times that investigators are also looking into Giuliani’s role in the recall of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who served as a diplomat for over three decades before being abruptly removed from her post in spring 2019.
Giuliani has admitted that he sought dirt on political adversaries including Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, along with Yovanovitch, and he had contact with former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. He also amplified the lie started by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election, according to Business Insider.
A search warrant was also executed at the Washington, D.C. home of lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former top DOJ official and Giuliani associate, who was involved in the effort to dig for dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine, the Times reported. According to ABC News, investigators only requested her cell phone, which she handed over.