Why was Rudy Giuliani’s home just raided by the FBI?

Why was Rudy Giuliani’s home just raided by the FBI?
Source: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters
The raid is part of an ongoing investigation into Giuliani’s possibly illegal dealings in Ukraine.

On the morning of April 28, the home of Rudy Giuliani – the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer – was raided by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

With search warrants, the federal investigators also raided Giuliani’s office and the homes of two of his business associates. They also subpoenaed one of Giuliani’s executive assistants to testify before a grand jury.

This raid is part of an ongoing investigation into Giuliani’s possibly illegal dealings in Ukraine.

What is Rudy Giuliani accused of doing?

A major part of the investigation is looking into whether Giuliani was working for Ukrainian interests when he helped get the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, removed from her position.

If true, this would be illegal because Giuliani never registered as a foreign agent and therefore violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires that people disclose if they are working on behalf of a foreign government.

It’s possible that investigators are also looking into other possible illegal actions while Giuliani was in Ukraine, though right now further details are unknown.

Why was Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine?

For the last few years, Giuliani was the personal lawyer of former President Donald Trump. During Trump’s presidency, Giuliani often visited Ukraine whenever the president asked.

Giuliani traveled there to find “dirt” on Joe Biden, who at the time was in the very early stages of planning what would ultimately be a successful presidential campaign.

Giuliani has said that he was looking into allegations against Biden, repeating an unproven claim that then-Vice President Biden pressured Ukrainian officials to drop an investigation into a company that his son, Hunter Biden, worked for.

This resulted in the first impeachment of Trump. But this isn’t why Guliani is under investigation now.

The current investigation is looking into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian officials. These Ukrainian officials were supposedly assisting Giuliani with his attempt to find incriminating evidence on Biden in Ukraine.

Is this just a political hit?

Giuliani and those close to him, including Trump, maintain that the investigation is nothing more than a political vendetta and that he is innocent. After the raid, Giuliani called the investigation a “corrupt double standard” that aimed to hurt anyone loyal to Trump.

One of Giuliani’s lawyers, Bob Costello, called the raid “political thuggery.” Trump also told Fox Business the following day that Giuliani is a “great patriot.”

The Biden administration has denied that it has had anything to do with the investigation, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the Justice Department “is independent now,” a remark referencing the Department of Justice under Trump, which was often accused of being corrupted by Trump and his attorney general, William Barr.

While Trump was president, the DOJ had blocked warrants to investigate Giuliani. But now, with Biden’s new attorney general, Merrick Garland, in charge of the department, the warrants were permitted.

What does this have to do with Trump?

Legally, probably nothing.

If Giuliani is formally charged with a crime and found to have illegally served as a foreign agent, it wouldn’t necessarily mean Trump had broken any laws as president. Giuliani could have acted on his own.

It also wouldn’t be the first time that a Trump ally had been arrested for a crime that was committed while employed by Trump.

In fact, in April 2018, the FBI raided the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen, who at the time had been Trump’s personal lawyer for many years.

Trump called that raid a “witch hunt.” But Cohen was later arrested and convicted of tax evasion and campaign finance violations and sentenced to three years in prison, serving part of that sentence at home due to COVID-19.

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