Rudy Giuliani on Thursday afternoon derided federal raids of his home and office in New York as being conducted under false pretenses, claiming the Department of Justice ignored proof that he filed as a foreign agent.
"Search warrant is one act of failing to register as a foreign — failing to file as a foreign agent, which is completely false," Giuliani said on his WABC Radio show.
Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's personal attorney, only briefly addressed the search warrants that federal investigators conducted, calling them a “violation” of his constitutional rights,
The news was first reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by The Associated Press, citing a law enforcement source.
Investigators seized 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.
Giuliani denied reports that the warrants were focused on him pressuring Ukrainian officials on behalf of Trump, claiming they were actually about failing to file as a foreign agent. Giuliani denied that he failed to file, claiming he offered to talk to the Department of Justice over the course of the past two years, but they instead come his “home at 6 in the morning.”
Speaking on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” later in the evening, Giuliani called the warrants “completely illegal” and said FBI agents took “seven or eight” electronic items of his, along with two that belonged to someone else.
On his radio show, Giuliani did not deny seeking to dig up evidence in Ukraine implicating Joe Biden, but said he did not in turn act on its behalf.
"I was representing my client when I did this. I wasn't representing any Ukrainians. I was representing Donald J. Trump, president or not, an innocent man who was being framed by a bunch of crooks,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani told Carlson that he has never represented a foreign national.
In a statement released through his attorney Wednesday after the raids, 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.”
Giuliani was central to the then-president’s efforts to dig up dirt against Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter. Giuliani 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.
The president, 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.
Many noted the irony in Giuliani being investigated by the same U.S. Attorney's office he once led. He had a message for prosecutors:
"I've done your job longer and much better than you have,” Giuliani said on his radio show. “You people have any convictions like I had when I was U.S. attorney? You haven't had a person like me in the U.S. Attorney's office since I left. No wonder you're jealous."
As for his radio show, John Catsimatidis, whose media company owns 77 WABC, suggested that, as the former New York mayor, Giuliani stick to New York topics.
"We recommended to him, we don't want him talking about any other situations,” Catsimatidis said. "As long as we stay on New York's problems, the show will continue."