Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office were raided on Wednesday when, at 6 AM, seven FBI agents executed a search warrant related to a long-standing investigation connected to the former Trump attorney’s dealings in Ukraine.
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer has been the focus of a federal probe concerning whether he violated the Foreign Registration Act (FARA) by lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials while pursuing an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden.
“I looked at the warrant, and I said, ‘You know, this is extraordinary because I offered to give these to the government and talk it over with them for two years,”” Giuliani told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday, in his first interview after the raid.
“The search warrant is on one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented,” he continued.
The agents spent nearly two hours executing the search and seized multiple electronic devices – phones and laptops – from the former New York Mayor’s properties.
Giuliani to be Indicted?
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Some observers see the Giuliani investigation as retribution for the former Trump confidant’s own inquiry into Biden family corruption. Audrey Strauss from the highly politicized Southern District of New York leading the probe supports such theories.
“What they’re doing to me as a lawyer is unconscionable,” the former Mayor said in a radio interview on Thursday. He added: “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.”
Trump defended Giuliani in an interview on Fox Business Thursday morning.
“Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot,” the former president said. “He does these things — he just loves this country, and they raid his apartment. It’s, like, so unfair and such a double — it’s like a double standard like I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before.”
Why is Giuliani Under Investigation?
According to reports, the feds are searching for proof that the former Mayor of New York City violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by illegally lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian officials.
The focus of the FBI investigation is Giuliani’s pursuit of incriminating evidence related to Hunter Biden’s lucrative position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was the sitting Vice President.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
From the Denver Post:
“The Foreign Agents Registration Act, originally passed before World War II to expose Nazi propaganda, requires people to disclose to the Justice Department when they have been hired to lobby in the US on behalf of foreign governments, figures, or political entities.
“Criminal prosecutions under the law were once rare, but there have been a number of high-profile cases in recent years, including during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted of failing to register work he’d done for a political party in Ukraine. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, admitted making false statements about work he’d done for Turkey.
“In addition, Imaad Zuberi, a political fundraiser who attracted attention for large donations to Trump’s inaugural committee, was sentenced in February to 12 years in prison for a violation of the foreign agents’ act and other crimes.”
Until recently, FARA was scarcely ever enforced, and violators were just forced to pay a fine and register as a representative of foreign principals with the Justice Department.
It was only in 2016 that David Laufman, former head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section, began weaponizing the act. In 2016. The FBI used alleged FARA violations as justification for investigating then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
“Republicans who are prominent supporters and defenders of President Trump… are subjected to false charges and procedures used in the past, if at all, in cases involving terrorists and organized criminals,” wrote Robert Costello, Giuliani’s attorney, in a statement released last week.
A basic outline of what we know:
- In 2019, Trump sent Giuliani, then his attorney, to Ukraine in search of incriminating material on Hunter Biden that might have helped exonerate the president during the Mueller investigation. “I’m thinking he’s going to get me exculpatory information that’ll help me defending my client. At this point, I didn’t even know Joe Biden was involved,” he told Lee Smith of The Epoch Times.
- While there, the former NY Mayor claimed that former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was disrupting his investigation. You may remember Yovanovitch from her witness testimony during Trump’s 2019 impeachment hearings.
As Rudy’s efforts were underway, Trump allegedly signaled to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the US would withhold military aid – for reasons still in dispute. The former president claimed that he held up payments over fears of corruption within the Ukrainian government. He also complained that other UN allies weren’t paying their “fair share.”
His political opponents accused Trump of withholding aid to pressure Ukrainian officials to announce an inquiry into Hunter’s Burisma dealings – which was never done despite the military support being paid. This exchange was at the heart of Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
- President Trump recalled the ambassador from her post in May 2019.
- Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Giuliani was working on behalf of Ukrainian officials when he lobbied for Donald Trump to fire Yovanovitch.
- A source reportedly told The New York Times that federal agents are scrubbing Giuliani’s electronic devices for communications with the Trump administration and Ukrainian officials considered hostile to Yovanovitch.
Giuliani Maintains His Innocence
Rudy Giuliani claims that he’s innocent of any illegalities and that he wasn’t lobbying for any foreign agents during the trip to Ukraine, but working for his client, the former president; he gave Trump the information that resulted in the ambassador Yovanovitch’s termination.
“I never, ever represented a foreign national,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “In fact, I have in my contracts, a refusal to do it because from the time I got out of being mayor, I did not want to lobby.”
Furthermore, the investigation did not come as a surprise to the former Mayor; it’s been in progress for over a year.
The raid is a different story.
On Thursday, Giuliani told Carlson that he’s offered to cooperate with law enforcement over the last two years. He also asserted that the warrant was “illegal” and “unconstitutional,” adding that there would only be grounds for such a warrant if evidence existed that he was planning to destroy the materials.
Robert Costello echoed those sentiments. In an email to CNN, the defense attorney asserted that his client “has done nothing wrong” and Rudy has repeatedly offered “to answer any questions the SDNY might have about anything including crimes, attempted crimes, conspiracy to commit crimes, (or) aiding and abetting crimes.”
The feds sought permission to search Giuliani’s apartment last summer, but Justice Department officials denied the request due to rules that limit specific actions just before an election.
Supporters of Donald Trump and his former lawyer insist that the probe is a political hit job. Payback for Giuliani obtaining Hunter Biden’s laptop and publicizing unflattering photos and emails.
Because of the mainstream media’s bloodlust for all things Trump World – especially if they can tie them to Russia – there’s one crucial fact we must keep in mind right now:
Giuliani has not been charged with any crime, nor have federal prosecutors publicly accused him of any wrongdoing.
However, others who participated in the campaign to obtain evidence of Hunter Biden’s corruption have been indicted. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped arrange meetings in Ukraine for Giuliani, face federal charges for allegedly assisting foreign actors in making illegal campaign donations to American politicians and political action committees in an attempt to gain influence in the US government.
Interestingly enough, Parnas and Fruman were initially accused of violating FARA on behalf of Ukrainian officials who wanted Marie Yovanovitch’s removal as ambassador. However, those investigations turned up nothing, and the allegations were quietly dropped from the superseding indictment.
Consider for Future Political Bets
Might federal agents use their access to Rudy Giuliani’s electronic devices to dig up dirt on other crimes and Trump associates?
In the meantime, Giuliani says that he hopes those at the top of the Biden Justice Department responsible for the raid will “be investigated for blatantly violating my constitutional rights.”
“If that doesn’t result in their being sanctioned, the case being dismissed, and it stopping — this is no longer — we might as well be in, you know, East Berlin before the Wall fell. This is tactics only known in a dictatorship where you see a lawyer’s records right in the middle of his representation of his client. You should be prosecuted and disbarred for that,” he the former prosecutor ranted to Tucker Carlson.
“They’re a disgrace to a great department.”
Political Revenge Plot?
Many on the Right believe the Giuliani FARA allegations have nothing to do with the former New York Mayor’s lobbying on behalf of a foreign government; the investigation is merely a pretext to search his communications and records.
They suspect the FBI was searching for compromising information that could be used to take exact revenge against Trump’s former lawyer for daring to dig into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and attempting to expose the first family’s corruption.
An article by Lee Smith of The Epoch Times explains what conservatives perceive as The Real Reasons Behind the Rudy Giuliani Raid:
The compromising photos, emails, and texts found on Hunter’s laptop include accounts of financial arrangements with a Chinese businessman he called the “spy chief of China.” The documents, confirmed by a former Biden associate, implicate other members of the Biden clan, including it seems the president.
And so to hunt Giuliani, the commander-in-chief has deployed federal law enforcement authorities, which have their own reason to retaliate against one of the Department of Justice’s most famous former prosecutors. Giuliani helped thwart the FBI and DOJ’s plot to topple an American president.
He joined Donald Trump’s legal team in April 2018 to defend the president during former FBI director Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. “I wanted to make us a lot tougher against them,” Giuliani told me in an interview for my 2020 book “The Permanent Coup.” “We needed to get out front publicly because I believed it was not just a legal case. It was a political case.”
Indeed, Justice Department officials sanctioned the Mueller probe as a continuation, and coverup, of the illegal espionage operation targeting Trump and his associates that the FBI called Crossfire Hurricane. The investigation of Giuliani is yet a further extension of Crossfire Hurricane, even employing the same instrument it used to go after Trump aides—FARA.
FBI Refuses the Hunter Biden Laptop
If you’re able to examine the entire situation objectively, Smith makes a compelling case. Especially when you consider the types of evidence the FBI ignores. During the raid, Giuliani offered to turn over hard drives from Hunter Biden’s laptop, which he claimed should “fall withing the scope of the subpoena.”
“At the end of the search, when they had taken about, I would say, seven or eight electronic items of mine … they weren’t taking the three hard drives, which of course, are electronic devices. They just mimic the computer. I said, ‘Well, don’t you want these?’ And they said, ‘What are they? I said, ‘Those are Hunter Biden’s hard drives. And they said ‘no, no, no.”
Giuliani says agents were offered the hard drives three separate times before becoming “perturbed.”
“I said, ‘Are you sure you don’t want them? I mean, the warrant required them to take it,’” he continued, and they said, ‘No, no, no.’ One last time, I said, ‘Don’t you think you should take it?’ And they said, ‘No.’”
He noted that the agents were “completely content to rely on my word that these were Hunter Biden’s hard drives. I mean, they could have been Donald Trump’s. They could have been Vladimir Putin’s. They could have been anybody’s.”
“But they relied on me, the man who had to be raided in the morning, because — I’m going to destroy the evidence? I’ve known about this for two years, Tucker,” he contended. “I could have destroyed the evidence. The evidence is exculpatory. It proves the president and I and all of us are innocent. They are the ones who are committing — it’s like projection. They are committing the crimes.”
Accuse Your Rivals of Your Sins
There seems to be a pattern forming when it comes to the Biden family and high-ranking establishment Democrats – it started under the Obama administration. Whenever they engage in unlawful – or borderline at best – behavior, they use the Department of Justice or allies in Congress to conceal their crimes by accusing opponents of the very same thing.
Once again, Lee Smith’s piece made some excellent points:
In trying to hang a Ukraine-related FARA violation on Giuliani, the Biden administration is giving more evidence that the Democratic Party’s default criminal defense is to obscure their illegal activities by accusing their rivals of doing exactly what they are in fact doing. The most prominent example is Trump’s 2019 impeachment, when House Democrats charged him with abuses that were committed by Joe Biden.
In 2016, the then-vice president threatened to withhold a $1 billion loan guarantee from the Ukrainian government if it didn’t fire a prosecutor investigating an energy company paying his son Hunter more than $50,000 a month. When Trump got word in 2019 of the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine, he asked the Ukrainian president to brief Attorney General William Barr as well as Giuliani on the matter.
Democratic officials, US spies, and the media categorized Trump’s unrelated decision to put a hold on weapons system purchases by the Ukrainians as a “quid pro quo.” The anti-Trump operatives claimed that he had used a US taxpayer-funded resource as leverage to get the Ukrainians to take action on an investigation. In other words, they very precisely hung Biden’s abuses of power on Trump.
The same is so with the allegations that Giuliani took money to influence US policy regarding Ukraine. The Ukrainian energy company had hired Hunter for just that purpose, and it worked—even his father said so. Joe Biden boasted in a January 2018 appearance that it was he, as vice president, who got the Ukrainians to cut the prosecutor loose or else.
Love Donald Trump or hate him; no lies were told in the preceding paragraphs.
Similarly, remember when the FBI investigated Michael Flynn for making diplomatic arrangements with a Russian official (asking him not to escalate tensions with the US over sanctions imposed by Obama since a new administration was coming)? They ultimately got him to lie about the call and indicted the former General for making false statements to federal investigators.
If Flynn’s call to Russia was worthy of an FBI probe, why was Anthony Blinken bragging about taking calls from foreign governments mere days after Biden won the election?
There does appear to be a double standard. Still, it’s nowhere near as egregious as what the Biden’s have gotten away with regarding Ukraine and China compared to others.
Will Rudy Giuliani Be Indicted?
According to the prominent attorney and political betting legend Robert Barnes, it’s unlikely that federal prosecutors will find the evidence they’d need for an indictment. Rudy Giuliani worked as Donald Trump’s personal attorney during his trip to Ukraine, so alleging he was representing a foreign agent is a stretch.
Barnes suspects ulterior motives drove the raid, and the FARA probe just gave the feds the excuse they needed to seize the electronics. Beyond being political payback for releasing evidence of the Biden family’s corruption, the populist attorney thinks they may be searching Giuliani’s devices to discover his sources for the Hunter laptop and find damning evidence to use against Donald Trump and his associates.
Rudy Giuliani was a federal prosecutor.
If he’s been cooperating with the investigators for two years, he wasn’t dumb enough to say anything on his phone or a computer that could be interpreted as a FARA violation.
As a betting man, the odds tell me this probe, raid, and subsequent media blitz are all part of a revenge scheme perpetrated by President Biden and his DOJ. People will cheer it on because it involves a Trump ally. However, historically, when law enforcement agencies are used to silence and punish political enemies this way, it turns out poorly for the whole country.
That’s why we should appreciate things like political betting while we have time — before our inevitable plunge into a technocratic feudal-corporate police state.