Federal authorities executed a search warrant on the apartment of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, as part of an investigation into his business and other dealings with officials in Ukraine, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Other outlets, including CNN, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, the three major cable news networks quickly jumped on the news, bringing in guests and capturing images outside the Giuliani residence.
There was speculation that the execution of a search warrant signaled a new phase of the investigation. “This clearly is a big escalation in the ongoing investigation of Rudy Giuliani,” Andrea Mitchell said on MSNBC.
The investigation has been going on for some time. On Fox News, John Roberts noted the impact of the change in the administrations, from Trump to Joe Biden. “Changing of the guard has certainly changed the environment for the way this investigation has proceeded,” he said.
The Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that the investigation is focused on whether Giuliani engaged in illegal lobbying activity on behalf of Ukrainian figures while at the same time he was seeking information on Trump’s potential political foes, including Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The Times reported that one of the items seized at Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment were his electronic devices.
A spokesperson for Giuliani did not immediately return a request for comment. His attorney, Robert J. Costello, told the Times, that federal investigators were engaged in “legal thuggery.”
“Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States,” he said.
Giuliani’s attempts to dig up information on the Bidens ultimately led to the first impeachment of Trump, on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Giuliani also has been one of the key figures pushing conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, to the extent that he was named as a defendant in cases brought by election systems companies Smartmatic and Dominion.
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