Federal investigators in New York have executed search warrants at the home and office of Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of the city who later became former President Donald Trump's personal attorney.
The news was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by The Associated Press, citing a law enforcement source.
Investigators siezed electronic devices as part of the probe, investigators confirmed to the AP.
The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but law enforcement officials told the AP that it at least partly involves the Ukraine dealings. Giuliani has been under investigation for several years over his business dealings in Ukraine.
In a statement released through his attorney, Giuliani accused federal authorities of a “corrupt double standard,” claiming that that the Justice Department was “running rough shod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J. Trump.”
Speaking to the news media Wednesday afternoon outside Rudy Giuliani’s Upper East Side home, the former mayor’s son, Andrew, who’s exploring a run for governor, blamed a judge appointed by President Barack Obama, and called the search warrants “disgusting” and described them as the “continued polarization of the Justice Department.
“This is absolutely absurd,” Andrew Giuliani said. “If this can happen to the former president’s lawyer, this can happen to any American. Enough is enough.”
Rudy Giuliani was central to the then-president’s efforts to dig up dirt against Democratic rival Joe Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter. The former NYC mayor also sought to undermine former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was pushed out on Trump’s orders, and met several times with a Ukrainian lawmaker who released edited recordings of Biden in an effort to smear him before the election.
The move comes as the Department of Justice continues its investigation into Giuliani. The probe into Giuliani’s overseas and business dealings stalled last year because of a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought reelection, and amid Giuliani’s prominent role in subsequently disputing the results of the contest on Trump’s behalf.
The matter was widely expected to be revisited following Merrick Garland's swearing in as Attorney General, which took place last month. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Garland's No. 2 at the DOJ, was confirmed and sworn in last week.
Applications for search warrants for lawyers must go through several layers of approval from senior officials.
President Joe Biden, who nominated Garland to serve as the DOJ chief, told NBC News on Thursday that he received no advance notice about the raid.
"I give you my word I was not," Biden told NBC's Craig Melvin at the White House.
"I made a pledge: I would not interfere in ... any investigation the Justice Dept. had underway," Biden said, adding that he "learned about [the raid] last night when the rest of the world" did.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, told The Wall Street Journal that the searches pertained to potential violations of foreign lobbying rules and that the warrants sought Giuliani’s communications with people including John Solomon, a former columnist and frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani, who pushed several baseless or unsubstantiated allegations involving Ukraine and Biden during the 2020 election.
Although the warrants do not mean that charges are near or even expected, it nonetheless represents a significant escalation in the investigation and means that law enforcement officials have persuaded a judge that there’s probable cause to believe a search of Giuliani’s property will turn up evidence of a crime.
Spectrum News has reached out to the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan for comment.
This is a developing story. Check back later for further updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.