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Donald Trump slams FBI raid on ‘patriot’ Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office as ‘very unfair’

Donald Trump on Thursday slammed the FBI raid on ‘patriot’ Rudy Giuliani‘s Manhattan apartment, saying it is ‘very unfair’. 

The former president spoke out to defend his personal attorney after federal agents raided the 76-year-old former New York City mayor’s home and office Wednesday, taking with them his electronic devices including computers and cellphones. 

Trump told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo: ‘Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot. He just loves this country, and they raid his apartment.

‘It’s like so unfair and…it’s like a double standard like I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before. It’s very, very unfair. Rudy is a patriot who loves this country.’ 

The raid signals a major escalation of the Justice Department’s investigation into any possible violation of federal lobbying laws and the business dealings of Giuliani. 

The raid may have been spurred by a voicemail where he hinted at having a burner phone, it was claimed Wednesday.

Giuliani, once celebrated for his leadership after 9/11, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges. 

Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello said the warrants involved an allegation that Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent and that investigative documents mentioned John Solomon, a frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani. 

Solomon pushed baseless or unsubstantiated allegations involving Ukraine and Biden during the 2020 election. His former employer, The Hill, published a review last year of some of his columns and determined they were lacking in context and missing key disclosures.  

Donald Trump on Thursday slammed the FBI raid on ‘patriot’ Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment, saying it is ‘totally unfair’

Giuliani, once celebrated for his leadership after 9/11, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges

Giuliani, once celebrated for his leadership after 9/11, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges

The raid signals a major escalation of the Justice Department's investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer

The raid signals a major escalation of the Justice Department’s investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer

Key developments following the raid of Rudy Giuliani’s home and office: 

  • Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office Wednesday   
  • A third search warrant was served on a phone belonging to Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and ally of Giuliani and Trump
  • Giuliani then accused federal authorities of a ‘corrupt double standard’
  • His son, Andrew, said the raids were ‘disgusting’ and ‘absolutely absurd’
  • Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello said the warrants involved an allegation that Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent and that investigative documents mentioned John Solomon, a frequent Fox News commentator 
  • Raid of may have been spurred by a voicemail where the former Mayor of New York City hinted at having a burner phone, it was later claimed
  • Tucker Carlson accuses Biden administration of ‘having all the hallmarks of tyranny’ and claims The Lincoln Project were tipped off about the search
  • Giuliani’s neighbor, the ex-wife of Pantone creator Larry Herbert, said she saw the FBI ‘taking a lot of stuff’ out of his Upper East Side apartment 
  • Trump on Thursday says the probe of his ex-attorney Giuliani is ‘very unfair’

 Trump said Thursday: ‘I don’t know what they’re looking for or what they’re doing.

‘They say it had to do with filings of various papers and lobbying files. Well, did Hunter [Biden] file? Did [President] Biden file? Because they did a lot of work with other countries. To the best of everyone’s knowledge, they didn’t file.

‘It’s a very, very unfair situation.’ 

He added: ‘It is so terrible when you see the things going on in our country with the corruption and the problems and then they go after Rudy Giuliani. It’s very said, actually.’  

He ended the interview by telling Bartiromo: ‘You’re going after the Rudy Giuliani’s of the world when you have rapists and murderers coming in through the border.’

Agents searched Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. 

The warrants, which required approval from the top levels of the Justice Department, signify that prosecutors believe they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime – though they do not guarantee that charges will materialize.

A third search warrant was served on a phone belonging to Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and close ally of Giuliani and Trump.

Her law firm issued a statement saying she was informed that she is not a target of the investigation.

The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but it at least partly involves Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, law enforcement officials have told the AP. 

Andrew Giuliani addresses media outside his Dads New York City Apartment

Andrew Giuliani addresses media outside his Dads New York City Apartment

Agents searched Giuliani's Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press

Agents searched Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office, people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press

After news of the raid broke, Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney who was also subject of a federal raid and would eventually plead guilty to eight federal counts, including violating campaign finance law, tweeted: 'Here we go folks'

After news of the raid broke, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who was also subject of a federal raid and would eventually plead guilty to eight federal counts, including violating campaign finance law, tweeted: ‘Here we go folks’

‘Here we go folks!!!’ Michael Cohen tweets following news of the raid 

After news of the raid broke, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who was also subject of a federal raid and would eventually plead guilty to eight federal counts, including violating campaign finance law, tweeted: ‘Here we go folks.’

It was revealed earlier this month that Cohen met for the ninth time with Manhattan prosecutors, in their continued criminal investigation into Donald Trump and his namesake business.

The meeting added to the more than 300 hours Trump’s former fix-it man has already spent coordinating with various inquiries. 

Cohen was convicted in 2018 of campaign finance violations while working as Trump’s personal attorney – he was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to nine charges. 

 Less than a year after his sentencing, Cohen was released from Otisville Correctional Facility in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic on compassionate grounds. He has been confined to his Trump Park Avenue apartment in Lenox Hill ever since July 2020.

Giuliani’s son Andrew has already accused the Department of Justice of raiding his father’s New York apartment and office for political reasons – and claims agents didn’t want to take allegedly incriminating evidence involving Hunter Biden. 

Giuliani’s lawyer Costello blamed the investigation on ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ and also a accused agents of ignoring Hunter’s hard drives during their search.  

Phone records published by House Democrats in 2019 in the wake of Trump’s first impeachment trial showed frequent contacts involving Giuliani, Solomon and Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who is under indictment on charges of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions.  

Federal investigators may have been alerted over a November 2019 message Giuliani left his ex associate Parnas.

Giuliani is said to have been recorded saying: ‘Joe, it’s Rudy Giuliani,’ the message starts.

‘I’m calling, uh, to see if we can talk either about or with Lev. I have my lawyer with me, but you can call me back at [REDACTED]. That’s [REDACTED].’

Giuliani then adds: ‘That’s the soon to be gotten rid of number.’

Joseph Bondy, the attorney for former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, filed a motion in court in December that included a transcript of the voicemail message that the ex-mayor left him.‘

A link of the transcript was found on Wednesday by Newsweek

Federal prosecutors have been looking at Giuliani for more than a year. In November 2019, they sought records of payments to Giuliani as part of an active criminal investigation, according to a grand jury subpoena seen by Reuters.

Prosecutors were investigating money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, according to the subpoena. 

The federal investigation centers on whether Giuliani acted as an unregistered federal agent and lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs.

Those were the same group of people who were helping Giuliani search for dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company, during the 2020 election in an effort to help Trump politically. 

Prosecutors are looking into Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who was crucial to Giuliani’s efforts to produce damaging information on the Bidens.

No such information ever came to light, neither Biden has been charged with a crime and Hunter Biden stepped down from Burisma’s board during the 2020 election. Hunter Biden is under tax investigation.

Parnas is a Giuliani associate who is under indictment on charges of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions. He is seen above in December 2019

Parnas is a Giuliani associate who is under indictment on charges of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions. He is seen above in December 2019

‘Joe, it’s Rudy Giuliani,’ the message starts. ‘I’m calling, uh, to see if we can talk either about or with Lev. I have my lawyer with me, but you can call me back at [REDACTED]. That’s [REDACTED].’ Giuliani then adds: ‘That’s the soon to be gotten rid of number.’

‘Joe, it’s Rudy Giuliani,’ the message starts. ‘I’m calling, uh, to see if we can talk either about or with Lev. I have my lawyer with me, but you can call me back at [REDACTED]. That’s [REDACTED].’ Giuliani then adds: ‘That’s the soon to be gotten rid of number.’

Investigators are also looking into Giuliani's role in the ousting of US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was a prominent witness in Trump's first impeachment trial

Prosecutors are also looking into Giuliani's dealings with Ukraine's then-top prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who was helping Giuliani in his dirt-digging mission

Investigators are also looking into Giuliani’s role in the ousting of US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was a prominent witness in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Prosecutors are also looking into Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who was helping Giuliani in his dirt-digging mission

Investigators have examined conversations Giuliani had about taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparently unrelated consulting business from Lutsenko, but that deal never happened.

Trump praised Lutsenko as a ‘very good prosecutor’ during that phone call with Zelensky.  

Toensing represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch under indictment in the United States whose help Giuliani sought. She is married to attorney Joseph diGenova and the couple were on the legal team – led by Giuliani – that challenged the 2020 election results on Trump’s behalf.

The raids indicate the investigation of the former New York City mayor has entered an aggressive new phase. 

It is unusual for prosecutors to execute a search warrant on a lawyer, particularly one who has privileged conversations with his client, the former president of the United States. 

Trump golfing at Trump International in West Palm Beach on Saturday morning

Trump golfing at Trump International in West Palm Beach on Saturday morning

After news of the raid broke, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who was also subject of a federal raid and would eventually plead guilty to eight federal counts, including violating campaign finance law, tweeted: ‘Here we go folks.’ 

The Giuliani investigation grew out of a federal investigation of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who worked on gathering information about the Bidens during the election.

The two Soviet-born men were charged with federal campaign finance violations.

The two, who pleaded not guilty, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Europe. That investigation is on-going and faced some delays due to the COVID pandemic.

Trump has said he doesn’t know the two men or the work they did. 

Investigators are also looking into Giuliani’s role in the ousting of US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was a prominent witness in Trump’s first impeachment trial. Current and former U.S. officials testified at that inquiry that Giuliani carried out a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.

As Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation of the Bidens, he pushed to have Yovanovitch removed, seeing her as an obstacle to his efforts to produce a probe that would benefit Trump politically.

At Giuliani’s urging, Trump had her recalled.  

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said the warrants involved an allegation that Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent and that investigative documents mentioned John Solomon, pictutred, a former columnist and frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said the warrants involved an allegation that Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent and that investigative documents mentioned John Solomon, pictutred, a former columnist and frequent Fox News commentator with close ties to Giuliani

Contacted Wednesday, Fox contributor Solomon said it was news to him that the Justice Department was interested in any communications he had with Giuliani, though he said it was not entirely surprising given the issues raised in the impeachment trial.

‘He was someone that tried to pass information to me. I didn’t use most of it,’ Solomon said of Giuliani. ‘If they want to look at that, there’s not going to be anything surprising in it.’

Everything was sitting ‘in plain view,’ Solomon said. He said he believed his reporting had ‘stood the test of time’ and maintained that he was ‘unaware of a single factual error’ in any of his stories.

Solomon previously worked for The Associated Press, departing the news organization in 2006.


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