Federal investigators search Giuliani's home and office, and experts say it means he's in real trouble
Federal investigators searched Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan home and office on Wednesday and carried out search warrants as part of an investigation into his business in Ukraine, the New York Times reports.
Former New York City Mayor and former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer is under investigation for possible illegal lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian officials and his efforts to tarnish Trump's political rivals. "Enforcing a search warrant is an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against an attorney, let alone a former president's attorney," the Times writes. "Although the arrest warrants are not an explicit charge of wrongdoing against Mr Giuliani, it shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase."
Experts agreed that the search was a very serious undertaking for Giuliani. Former US attorney Harry Litman wrote, "This means that a judge has likely found reason to believe that [Giuliani's actions in Ukraine] were criminal." As the Times writes, "To obtain a search warrant, investigators must convince a judge that they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime has been committed and that the search would reveal evidence of the crime."
Federal Prosecutor and legal analyst Shanlon Wu described the search as an "extraordinary step" and wrote that "Rudy Giuliani will now no longer help Rudy Giuliani with a lot of hot air and ranting".
Litman continued, "I don't quite know what percentage of the people whose [homes] are searched by an arrest warrant will be charged ... but it's high, and given Giuliani's profile, it must be higher [because ] they would be more careful and get a lot of approvals. "
The search warrant is said to have been a long time coming and politics may have slowed it down. The process was delayed for the presidential election so as not to sway voters, and reports say the DOJ's Trump agents managed to temporarily block the warrant while Trump was still in office.
Giuliani's attorney called the search in which investigators confiscated Giuliani's electronic equipment a "legal brawl". He asked, "Why would you do this to anyone, let alone ... the personal attorney of the 45th President of the United States?"
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