Rudy Giuliani: Feds end foreign lobbying investigation without filing charges

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CNN

Federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine have closed their investigation after more than two years and said no criminal charges will be brought.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York have been investigating Giuliani, the former personal attorney of former President Donald Trump, for possible violations of foreign lobbying laws since early 2019.

On Monday, they informed a judge overseeing the investigation that they would close the case.

The notice came in a lawsuit with prosecutors asking the judge to fire the special master assigned to oversee a review of documents obtained when the FBI executed a search warrant at the former mayor’s home in April 2021 of New York City.

“The government is writing to inform the court that the grand jury investigation leading to the issuance of the above-mentioned warrants has been completed and based on information currently in the government’s possession, no criminal charges will follow,” the public wrote. prosecutors.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

“It’s wonderful, long-awaited news,” said Robert Costello, a lawyer for Giuliani. “Unfortunately, Mayor Giuliani has had to spend two and a half to three years with this cloud over his head.”

The end of the investigation also closes a chapter of the Trump administration involving two South Florida businessmen, shadow diplomacy efforts, including a plot to oust the US ambassador to Ukraine, and an impeachment trial against the former president.

Prosecutors had investigated whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws by acting on behalf of Ukrainian officials when he sought the impeachment of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while urging Ukraine to investigate the political rival of Trump in 2020, then Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. , and his son Hunter.

U.S. law requires anyone lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or official to register, and failure to do so is a violation.

Giuliani had claimed that his activities in Ukraine were done in his capacity as attorney for Trump, and that he “never represented any Ukrainian national or official before the government of the United States.”

In April 2021, federal agents executed search warrants at Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and office on Park Avenue, seizing 18 electronic devices. Prosecutors also disclosed that they had covertly searched Giuliani’s iCloud account in 2019. Earlier this year, he met with prosecutors and provided passwords for some of the locked devices.

The green light for the search warrants — especially against a former president’s personal attorney — was one of the first high-profile moves by Attorney General Merrick Garland in the early days of the Biden administration.

Giuliani’s role as attorney for the then president and his involvement with Ukrainian officials complicated the investigation, people familiar with the case told CNN. It was not clear whether Giuliani received compensation from Ukrainians and he publicly praised his efforts, which could make it more difficult for prosecutors to prove that he was secretly lobbying for foreign actors.

Two South Florida businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, helped introduce Giuliani to Ukrainians and translate for him while traveling. Once seen as potential witnesses in the government’s case, they became entangled in their own campaign finance and fraud scheme and have both been found guilty or found guilty.

The decision to close the investigation also highlights the challenges the Justice Department has faced in enforcing foreign lobbying laws, an area that is receiving increasing attention due to potential risks to national security.

Earlier this month, Trump ally Tom Barrack and his former aide were cleared of acting as covert foreign agents for the United Arab Emirates.

The New York investigation isn’t the only legal threat Giuliani faces. His actions to overturn the 2020 election results in Trump’s favor have led to scrutiny and potentially costly fines or settlements. Dominion Voting Systems has filed a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against Giuliani over his baseless claims of voter fraud.

Giuliani has been told he is a target of the criminal investigation being conducted by the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, which is investigating Trump’s attempts to sway the election in his favor. He appeared before the grand jury in August.

Federal prosecutors are also conducting a wide-ranging investigation into attempts to disrupt the transfer of power from the Trump administration to Biden.

This story has been updated with additional details.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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