US: Former Trump lawyer Giuliani defiant after FBI raid

Giuliani has said electronics seized by federal investigators will prove he and the former US president are ‘innocent’.

Federal investigators are probing former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's dealings in Ukraine [File: Jim Bourg/Reuters]

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer of former United States President Donald Trump, has said evidence collected during an FBI raid on his home as part of a probe into his dealings in Ukraine would prove he and the former president are “innocent”.

The former mayor of New York City told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that the electronic devices seized at his Manhattan residence and a separate office on Wednesday would show he did not violate federal law as he sought to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden in Ukraine in 2019 to support Trump.

“The evidence is exculpatory. It proves the president and I and all of us are innocent,” Giuliani said of the Ukraine dealings, for which the former president was later impeached by the US House of Representatives. He was later acquitted in a Senate trial.

The investigation behind Wednesday’s raid suggests authorities could be honing in on allegations that Giuliani did paid work for Ukrainian government officials while he worked for Trump, a violation of US laws against unregistered lobbying for foreign entities.

Giuliani has denied the claims.

Two Ukrainian-born men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped Giuliani in those efforts, were arrested in October 2019 and charged with illegally funnelling large donations to a pro-Trump fundraising committee.

On Thursday, Giuliani further accused the Justice Department of serving an “illegal warrant” and said it had “spied” on him by accessing privileged lawyer-client information through the cloud, “blatantly violating my constitutional rights”.

In an interview with WABC, Giuliani took a more personal tack, accusing federal prosecutors of being jealous of his former career as US attorney for the Southern District of New York – the same office that obtained the warrants against him.

“I’ve done your job longer and much better than you have. You people have any convictions like I had when I was US attorney? You haven’t had a person like me in the US attorney’s office since I left – no wonder you’re jealous,” Giuliani said.

Trump also complained earlier on Thursday that the raid was “so unfair”. “Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot. He just loves this country, and they raid his apartment,” Trump told Fox Business.

Mounting legal woes

President Joe Biden, for his part, has defended the integrity of the investigation, telling NBC he had not even been warned a warrant had been obtained.

“I made a pledge I would not interfere in any way, order or try to stop any investigation the Justice Department had … I had no idea this was under way,” he said.

Giuliani, once a top New York prosecutor before becoming a celebrated mayor of the city, was a personal lawyer for Trump when the president was impeached in December 2019 for allegedly using military aid to pressure the president of Ukraine for his own political gain.

According to reports, the FBI and the Justice Department’s prosecutor in New York had sought search warrants for Giuliani’s phones last year, but were denied that while Trump remained in office, until January 20.

The FBI and the Justice Department have declined to comment on the raids or the investigation.

Giuliani has other pending legal woes. In January, he was sued by a voting machine maker for $1.3bn for spreading claims after the November presidential election that its machines were part of alleged massive voting fraud that caused Trump’s loss.

No significant fraud has been demonstrated in the election.

Source: News Agencies