Manhattan federal prosecutors are trying to scrutinize Rudy Giuliani’s communications with several former Ukrainian officials, people familiar with the matter said, while investigators reported ex-Trump attorneys pushed for a dismissal. Does the US ambassador in Kiev violate foreign lobbying rules?
A search warrant, carried out by federal investigators on Wednesday at Giuliani’s New York City apartment and office, has sought evidence relating to former US ambassador Mariovanovic, Ukraine’s former ambassador to Ukraine. Pushed for eviction in the spring of 2019, including communication People say a US government official or employee in connection with the former ambassador or her position.
Former President Donald Trump ordered the release of Ms Yovanovich in the spring of 2019 following a broad push by Giuliani, who lobbied the president and Secretary Mike Pompeo.
The warrant also requires communication with or about associates working with Giuliani in pushing for the expulsion of Ms Yovanovic and the Ukrainian authorities in an investigation into family activities. Said Biden in the country, someone familiar with the warrant. President Biden at the time was considered one of Trump’s top rivals for Democrats.
The warrant sought evidence relating to former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko, former Ukrainian prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Giuliani denied he had lobbyed or represented foreign governments. The former New York mayor served as a personal attorney for Mr Trump as he pushed for the Biden probe and the ambassador’s removal.
“Since my retirement as mayor, I don’t want to lobby,” Giuliani said on Fox News Thursday evening, “and I can prove it. Just give me a chance “
The Manhattan attorney’s office has been investigating Mr Giuliani in Ukraine for more than a year, but the seizure of his personal electronic equipment on Wednesday escalated the investigation. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine were central to Mr Trump’s first prosecution for abusing his power by seeking Ukrainian help in his 2020 election bid. Trump was accused by the House of Commons. Democratic-led and acquitted by the Republican-led Senate
Giuliani accused Biden as vice president of engaging in corruption when he called for ousting Mr Shokin, then Ukraine’s attorney general investigating the Ukrainian gas company at Ha. Biden’s son, Nether Biden, serves on the Bidens committee, denying any wrongdoing, and the eviction of prosecutors was a target during the time of the US and many European countries.
Federal prosecutors have followed up on a theory based on the idea that Giuliani’s efforts to remove Ms Yovanovic were made by Ukrainian officials in exchange for damaging information about the state prosecutors. Bidens, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Such an exchange, although not related to the payout. But it could also violate federal lobbying laws, the Journal reported.
Giuliani said Ms Yovanovich hindered his efforts to push Ukraine to censor Bidens and that she expressed prejudice against Trump in a private conversation.
As Ambassador Ms. Yovanovic has openly criticized the office of the senior Ukrainian law enforcement officer Latzenko for his poor anti-corruption record. Giuliani and his entourage two times to discuss a possible bidens investigation, Latzeno, was laid off from the prosecutor’s office in August 2019.
In her 2019 testimony to the prosecution investigator, Ms Yovanovic said Mr Latzenko made false allegations about her, “I don’t understand Mr Giuliani’s motivation to attack me. “What I can say is that Giuliani should know that those claims are suspected, reported to be from people with suspicious motives and for reasons to believe that ambition is suspicious.” Their politics and finance will be hindered by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.
Mr Latzenko later raised his allegations against Ms. Yovanovic and defended the manipulation of his anti-corruption efforts as attorney general. Mr Kulyk could not be reached for comment. Mr Shokin said he had been fired illegally.
In a statement, Poroshenko’s spokeswoman said he and Giuliani had little conversation beyond Russia’s aggression and US-Ukraine strategic relations. It has not raised any issues currently under investigation, ”the spokeswoman said. “Absolutely not.”
The warrant also sought evidence involving three Giuliani’s colleagues arrested in 2019 for financial campaigning – Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and David Correia, as well as two lawyers close to Mr. Giuliani, Victoria. Toensing and Joseph diGenova and conservative columnist John Solomon, investigative officer on Wednesday, followed a search warrant for Ms. Toensing’s phone.
A law firm spokesman for Ms.Toensing said she was told she was not a target, diGenova declined to comment. Mr. Solomon did not respond to requests for comment.
Messrs Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani collect information about Bidens and in private conversations to influence their role in the removal of Ms. Yovanovitch, according to people in the United States and Ukraine who spoke to them at the time.
Messrs. Parnas and Fruman have not been charged in connection with Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine, although the allegations refer to an attempt to push to dismiss the ambassador.
Messrs Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty to campaign finance costs and are due to go to trial later this year.
Mr Correia pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced in February to a year and one day for lying to federal election agencies and luring investors in fraudulent insurance companies.
Some of Giuliani’s associates mentioned in the warrant entered into financial deals with some named Ukrainian officials.
In the spring of 2019, Ms. Toensing signed an agreement to represent Mr.Shokin to collect evidence relating to the March 2016 shooting from his position of Attorney General and any roles Mr Biden has served. The vice president in his shooting, according to documents obtained The prosecution investigator that year, Toensing also signed a contract this spring to represent Lutsenko and Kulyk in a meeting with US officials about evidence alleged to have violated Ukraine in the act. The 2016 U.S. election, according to the Litigation Examiner.
Giuliani told the journal in 2019 that Latzenko asked him to represent him. But he rejected the lawsuit after drawing up an estimated $ 500,000 in storage agreement.
Giuliani attorney Robert Costello earlier this week referred to the search warrant operation as a Giuliani and Mr. Giuliani complained that the confiscated electronic device communicated protected by the rights of lawyers and clients.
Mr. Giuliani and his advisers are now strategizing on how to respond, considering whether to prosecute or ask the judge to review confiscated communications for preferential treatment based on individual information. Familiar with the trial The team reached out to Mr Trump’s representative whose communications with his lawyer could be seized on Wednesday whether he would sign the lawsuit, the person said.
Giuliani also contacted constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump during the initial prosecution, for legal advice.
Mr Dershowitz, in an interview, said pursuing a search warrant against a lawyer was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the “Unreasonable search and seizure” and said he had recommended Mr. Giuliani and his lawyer. “Carrying out all constitutional amendments” including asking the judge to review the seized material.
Dershowitz, whose advice Mr Giuliani was first reported by the Daily Beast, said he was not an official member of Mr Giuliani’s legal team.
“He’s going to fight back,” he said. “Rudy is a fighter.”
– Brett Forrest contributed to this article.
Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca Ballhaus@wsj.com and Rebecca Davis O’Brien at Rebecca.OBrien@wsj.com.
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