From the scourge of the New York City mafia bosses in the 1980s to gaining the illustrious title of “America’s Mayor” for his mayoral leadership after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Rudy Giuliani’s fall from grace has not only been spectacular for the depths it has plummeted to but in its continuous descent into the political and now legal quagmire as the FBI have carried out searches at his home and office as part of their ongoing investigation into Mr Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine at the apparent behest of his former employer, former President Donald Trump.
Investigators executed the warrants at Giuliani’s home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue, seizing several electronic devices, amongst other items, as they continue to probe whether Mr Giuliani, who was Donald Trump’s personal attorney at the time, acted as an unregistered federal agent and lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs. The same people who were also helping Giuliani search for dirt on the Biden’s during the 2020 election in an effort to help Trump politically.
According to the subpoena, prosecutors were investigating money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Investigators originally sought the warrant last summer but had faced several obstacles from the political leadership put in place at the Justice Department by President Trump. However, once Merrick Garland was confirmed as President Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.
The investigation also involves the part Mr Giuliani played in the ousting of US Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who served as a prominent witness in Trump’s first impeachment trial, something he would later brag about saying he ‘forced’ her out as she was making his push for the Ukrainians to investigate the Biden’s ‘difficult.’ Current and former U.S. officials testified at that trial that Giuliani carried out a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.
This all grew out of a federal investigation of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who worked on gathering information about the Biden’s during the election, and the two Soviet-born men were charged with federal campaign finance violations. Upon their arrest, then President Trump hilariously claimed to not know either man or what they were doing despite there being a veritable family album of photographs of Trump, his family members, and associates meeting with and posing happily beside these men on numerous occasions.
This raid comes at a rather precarious time for Giuliani, legally speaking, as he is still battling the election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems, who are suing him for defamation and seeking more than $1.3 billion in damages for Giuliani continuously spreading falsehoods about Dominion being owned by Venezuelan communists (including former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who has been dead since 2013) and corrupting the 2020 election in favor of Biden. The company accused Giuliani of creating “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion,” referring to more than 50 of his statements.
If the $1.3 billion lawsuit filed against him by Dominion wasn’t enough, the other election-technology company, Smartmatic, implicated in the widely debunked conspiracy theory of widespread election fraud, followed suit by filing a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, with Giuliani being named as one of the defendants.
Despite Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, calling the raid ‘legal thuggery’ and part of the ongoing ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’, the idea that Democrats and the left hate Trump so much that they are just looking for fictional policy positions, or actions undertaken by his administration to rail against, Mr Giuliani looks like he will be spending quite some time on the other side of the courtroom.
While the raid is in no way an indication of guilt, the fact that investigators had to convince a judge they had sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and the search would turn up evidence of that in order to obtain the search warrant, does not bode well for Giuliani. It seems the Justice Department’s investigation is only just gathering steam and could end in burning down what little legacy Giuliani has left.