Rudy Giuliani’s son Andrew has 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.
‘Any American, whether you are red or blue, should be extremely disturbed by what happened here today, by the continued politicization,’ furious Andrew told reporters in the Upper East Side on Wednesday.
‘The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there — and it does not belong to my father, it belongs to the current president’s son,’ he added.
It’s not clear what he was referring to, but his father is believed to have visited Ukraine in order to dig up ‘dirt’ on the Biden family.
Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello blamed the investigation on ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ and also a accused agents of ignoring Hunter’s hard drives during their search.
Giuliani’s team went on the defensive after the raids on Wednesday morning, in a sign that they are stepping up their investigation of his dealings in the Ukraine in a major escalation of the case.
‘Keep in mind that the agents could not read the physical hard drives without plugging them in, but they took Mr. Giuliani’s word that the hard drives were copies of Hunter Biden’s hard drive and did not contain anything pertaining to Mr. Giuliani,’ Costello said in a statement.
‘Their reliance on Mr. Giuliani’s credibility tells you everything you need to know about this case,’ he added.
Andrew Giuliani blasted accused President Joe Biden’s Justice Department for playing politics after agents raided his father’s apartment and office
Giuliani claimed he obtained the materials from the laptop of Hunter Biden during the 2020 election.
He also claimed Biden’s son made millions of his work on the board of a gas company in the Ukraine and pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens for corruption. The Bidens have not been charged with that crime. Hunter Biden is being investigated for his taxes.
Both Giuliani’s lawyer and his son accused Biden’s Justice Department of politicization, a charge made often against the department in President Donald Trump’s administration when Trump would publicly pressure his attorneys general to follow his wishes on legal matters. Top DOJ officials would have had to approve the raid.
‘It is outrageous that the Trump Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that hatred has driven this unjustified and unethical attack on the United States Attorney and Mayor who did more to reduce crime than virtually any other in American history,’ Costello said.
Andrew Giuliani, 35, who is planning to run governor New York, came out of the building to offer an impassioned defense of his father.
Federal investigators executed a search warrant Wednesday on Rudy Giuliani’s New York City apartment and office, seizing electronic devices
‘Anybody, any American – whether you’re red or blue – should be extremely disturbed by what happened here today by the continued politicization of the Justice Department. This is disgusting. This is absolutely absurd,’ he said. ‘If this can happen to the former president’s lawyer, this can happen to any American. Enough is enough.’
He also accused agents of ignoring evidence on Hunter Biden. The agents reportedly took electronic devices belonging to Giuliani.
‘The only piece of evidence that they did not take up there today, was the only piece of incriminating evidence that is in there, and it does not belong to my father. It belongs to the current president’s son,’ he said.
Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello blamed the investigation on ‘Trump derangement syndrome’ and also a accused agents of ignoring Hunter’s hard drives during their search
The Giuliani team took a page from the Trump playbook, fighting the accusations with charges of their own against a political rival.
Federal prosecutors have been looking at Giuliani for nearly 1-1/2 years. 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.
In addition to the Giuliani raid, FBI agents raided Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Giuliani who also had dealings with Ukrainians, The New York Times reported.
The federal investigation centers on whether Giuliani, who was Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, 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.
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.
Investigators executed the warrants at Giuliani’s home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue and seized electronic devices, a person familiar with the investigation told the AP.
Michele Herbert, a tenant in Giuliani’s building, told reporters on the scene of the raid: ‘They were bringing out a lot of stuff.’
FBI agents also raided Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Rudy Giuliani; she is seen with Giuliani and her husband Joe diGenova at a November 2020 press conference at the Republican National Committee; Toensing and diGenova were on the legal team trying to overturn the results
Officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) are seen exiting the apartment building of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani’s apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan
Media outside Rudy Giuliani’s apartment after its raid by the feds
Rudy Giuliani’s Park Avenue office was also raided by federal investigators
A crowd gathered outside of Rudy Giuliani’s Upper East side apartment building
Victoria Toensing, the lawyer whose attorney husband said the election security chief should be ‘shot at dawn’
Victoria Toensing and her husband Joseph diGenova are legal panelists on Newsmax, a right-wing media outlet. They used to be regulars on Fox News until DiGenova made wild claims that much of the State Department was under the control of a well-known Jewish financier George Soros.
Trump wanted them on his legal team for his impeachment trial – he was said to be impressed with diGenova’s defense of him on Fox News – but the two were unable to join due to conflicts of interest.
They represent Ukrainian businessman Dmitri Firtash, who was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with bribery and racketeering.
They also reportedly worked with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of Giuliani’s who were arrested on charges of campaign finance violations.
A former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, diGenova pushed the theory that lawmakers tried to frame Trump when they investigated whether his campaign colluded with Russia four years ago.
Toensing represented Scooter Libby, the assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, when Trump pardoned him.
Costello also called the searches unnecessary and said Giuliani had offered to answer questions from prosecutors, except those regarding his privileged communications with Trump.
‘What they did today was legal thuggery,’ Costello told The New York Times . ‘Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States.’
He said the electronic devices seized by the feds covered by attorney-client privilege.
The United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI had wanted to execute the warrant on Giuliani’s Upper East Side home and office for months but had been stymied by the political leadership put in place at the Justice Department by President Trump.
To obtain the search warrant, investigators would have needed to convince a judge they had sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and the search would turn up evidence of that. It does not indicate guilt.
The warrant was originally sought last summer but top officials at DOJ raised concerns about issuing a warrant so close to an election.
DOJ rules prevent actions close to an election that might be seen as interference – a matter that came up both in 2016 during the probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails and in 2020 during the investigation, not publicly revealed, into Hunter Biden over potential tax issues.
But after Merrick Garland was confirmed as President Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.
Biden vowed to have an independent Justice Department and said he would not interfere in its work, including any investigation it may make of his son Hunter’s business dealings.
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 neighbor Michele Hebert, the ex-wife of Pantone creator Larry Hevert, said she saw the FBI ‘taking a lot of stuff’ out of his Upper East Side apartment during their raid on Wednesday
Hebert, who divorced from Larry in 2017, spoke to the waiting press at the former Trump lawyer’s Manhattan address after the Department of Justice carried out a search warrant connected to his business dealings with Ukraine
She added that her ex Larry called her and said ‘look out the window’ when he saw the news break. ‘They were bringing out a lot of stuff,’ she said when asked about what the federal agents were doing
Press and members of the public crowd the street in front of Giuliani’s condo building
Michele Herbert, a neighbor of Rudy Giuliani speaks to members of the press about what she saw of the Wednesday morning raid
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 and were charged with violating the ban on political donations by foreign nationals in October 2019
Lev Parnas, center, and Igor Fruman with Rudy Giuliani at far right, Trump second right, and VP Mike Pence left
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
Prosecutors are examining whether Giuliani was working not only for Trump, but also for Ukrainian officials or businesses who wanted Yovanovitch dismissed for their own reasons, The Times reported.
Giuliani later bragged about having her removed, saying he ‘forced’ her out as she was making his push for the Ukrainians to investigate the Bidens ‘difficult.’
Trump was impeached on two counts in his first trial after reports of a July 25, 2019, phone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden and also a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 US election.
Trump was acquitted by the Senate.
Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, it is a federal crime to try to influence or lobby the US government at the request or direction of a foreign official without disclosing it to the Justice Department.
Prosecutors are also 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.
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.
Giuliani visited the Ukraine in December 2019 to film a documentary series to give Trump supporters an alternative narrative about what happened with the Zelensky phone call and Trump’s first impeachment trial.
He denied anything ever came of his six-figure arrangements to do work for Ukrainian officials.
‘I thought that would be too complicated,’ he told the New York Times in 2019. ‘I never received a penny.’
‘Originally, I thought I would do it. And then when I thought it over,’ Giuliani told the paper. ‘I thought it would look bad.’
LEV PARNAS AND THE TRUMP FAMILY ALBUM: PICTURES WITH DONALD, DON JR. AND EVEN DON JR.’S KIDS
Really, I can’t place him at all: Yet another picture of the two together, this time in the Trump Hotel in D.C. has been released by Lev Parnas’ attorney
Have we met? I’m sure we haven’t! President Trump dismissed a photos of him and Parnas as just taken at a fundraiser – this is one of two taken on different occasions on front of the Florida state flag
‘I don’t believe I’ve ever met him.’ The House Intelligence Committee released this photograph of the two together in a document dump
You sure they didn’t speak Mr. President? Lev Parnas’ attorney released this video of them together at Mar-a-Lago
Lev Parnas with Donald Trump at the America First Action Superpac Leadership Summit at Trump Hotel Washington D.C. June 18 or 19 2018. Also partially visible right, Donald Trump Jr
You’ll have to help me out, I don’t believe we’re acquainted: Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas (second and third from left) pictured with Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Pence also denied he knew ‘the guy’
I take thousands of photos: Lev Parnas and Donald Trump have not yet reached that number of pictures together, but there are certainly more than one
Great to make your acquaintance for the first time: Lev Parnas and Donald Trump at the door of what appears to be Mar-a-Lago
Lev Parnas with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
Lev Parnas and Ivanka Trump are seen together at Donald Trump’s inauguration celebration at Union Station, Washington D.C., in January 2017 in a new batch of photos from Parnas’ phone
Parnas mingles with Don Trump Jr and Trump Jr’s children in one of the photos at Trump’s inauguration celebration in Washington D.C. in 2017
Lev Parnas with Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump Jr
Lev Parnas and Jared Kushner at Donald Trump’s inauguration celebration in Union Station, Washington D.C., January 2017
Parnas (far right) poses with Jared Kushner, Don Trump Jr, and an unidentified man at Donald Trump’s inauguration celebration in Washington D.C., in January 2017
Parnas sits next to Donald Trump Jr in one of the photos released on Friday
Lev Parnas poses with with former Marine General John Kelly, then Donald Trump’s chief of staff, at the America First Action SuperPAC Leadership Summit at Trump Hotel Washington D.C. June 18 or 19 2018
We’ve never met, of course we can have a photograph: Lev Parnas’ attorney tweeted this image just after Kellyanne Conway climbed aboard the fast-moving denial train
No, I don’t believe we have: Mike Pence was the latest to say ‘I don’t know the guy,’ with an inevitable picture emerging