A federal criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine is reportedly resuming after stalling in the final months of the Trump administration, the Associated Press reported Friday, the latest in a string of bad news for President Donald Trump’s longtime attorney.
Rudolph Giuliani at a news conference on November 19, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc … [+]
The U.S. attorney’s office at the Southern District of New York has “returned to” its investigation of Giuliani, according to the AP, after the probe reportedly was paused by Trump-era officials who slow-walked a request for a search warrant to obtain the attorney’s electronic records.
While the full parameters of the investigation are not yet clear, it is reported to include an examination of whether Giuliani’s work in Ukraine violated U.S. lobbying laws, and previous reports indicate prosecutors are also looking into such other potential crimes as money laundering, obstruction of justice and campaign finance violations.
Earlier Friday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) filed a lawsuit against Giuliani, Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) alleging they incited the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building—the second such lawsuit to be filed against Giuliani and the former president.
Giuliani has also been sued for defamation by voting companies Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems for spreading baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud involving their machines.
An ethics complaint that could result in Giuliani’s disbarment has been filed with the New York State Bar, and CNN reports the New York City Bar Association recently sent a letter calling for the Attorney Grievance Committee in New York to conduct a “serious investigation” into Giuliani.
Beyond the potential legal fallout, Giuliani’s continued election fraud claims resulted in his temporary suspension from YouTube Monday, which could result in a permanent ban if he violates the platform’s policies against election misinformation again.
“They decided it was prudent to put it off until the dust settled, and the dust has settled now,” former federal prosecutor Kenneth F. McCallion, who represents Ukrainian clients involved in the probe, told the AP about the Justice Department resuming its Giuliani case.
Giuliani told the AP the investigation against him is “pure political persecution” and he “never represented a foreign anything before the U.S. government,” and his attorney Robert J. Costello told the outlet they had “heard nothing” from the U.S. attorney’s office about the probe. The former New York City mayor has also denied wrongdoing regarding his fraud claims and actions post-election, and called Dominion’s defamation suit a “wonderful opportunity to take discovery and prove exactly who and what they are” in a February text message to Forbes.
Giuliani served as Trump’s personal attorney throughout his presidency and led his post-election legal challenge aimed at reversing President Joe Biden’s victories in battleground states, which resulted in more than 60 failed court cases. (The attorney only personally represented the president in one lawsuit in Pennsylvania.) He also made numerous allegations of election fraud—which there is no credible evidence to support—in media appearances, social media and at hearings with state lawmakers. As Trump’s legal campaign waned and Biden entered the White House, Giuliani’s relationship with the ex-president reportedly soured, and Trump advisor Jason Miller said in a February statement that Giuliani is “not currently” representing his former client “in any legal matters.”
Giuliani filed a motion in Dominion’s lawsuit Friday asking the court to give him an extra month to respond to the voting machine company’s “voluminous and complex” complaint. The attorney’s delay request comes after Giuliani reportedly went to great lengths to avoid being served with the $1.3 billion lawsuit. Dominion attorney Tom Clare told Law & Crime the company made “numerous attempts” to serve Giuliani, who “evaded in-person service of process for nearly a week.” The New York Daily News reports the legal documents were at various points lodged in a car door and thrown in the trash by maintenance at Giuliani’s apartment building, and the ex-mayor reportedly ran a red light while trying to avoid Dominion’s process server.
Giuliani probe awaits Garland as he nears AG confirmation (Associated Press)
Ex-House Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell Sues Trump And Allies Over Capitol Riot (Forbes)
Report: Trump’s Justice Department Held Up Giuliani Investigation By Blocking Warrant Request (Forbes)
Rudy Giuliani Temporarily Suspended From YouTube Over Election Fraud Allegations (Forbes)
Georgia Counties Ask Trump For Nearly $17,000 In Legal Fees As GOP Election Lawyers Face Consequences (Forbes)
I am a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I previously covered politics and news for Vanity Fair and Mic, and as a theater critic I serve as a