Feds Execute Search Warrants on Rudy Giuliani (UPDATE: And Victoria Toensing)
The New York Times reports:
Federal investigators in Manhattan executed search warrants early Wednesday at the home and office of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who became President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.
The investigators seized Mr. Giuliani’s electronic devices and searched his Madison Avenue apartment and his Park Avenue office at about 6 a.m., two of the people said.
. . . .
The federal authorities have largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for damaging information on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including Mr. Biden, who was then a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Investigators waited until Wednesday as part of the federal government’s longstanding practice of carrying out significant actions relating to people in former president Trump’s orbit on a Wednesday, thus screwing up Josh Barro and Ken White, who record their podcast on Wednesday mornings.
@jbarro @sarafay goddamn wednesdays https://t.co/pakwOX6n8s
— VealBeerHat (@Popehat) April 28, 2021
The best line I have seen so far:
by the end of business today some reporter will have a buttdialed eight-minute voicemail from rudy in which he’s overheard talking about destroying evidence
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) April 28, 2021
Meanwhile Rudy is doing what Rudy does best: planning to run his mouth.
I flogged this in 2019, over and over, and I’m going to flog it again today: does it seem weird to anyone else that, at the same time Rudy’s pals Parnas and Fruman were pursuing a liquefied gas venture in Ukraine, everybody wanted to jump start an investigation relating to Burisma — a natural gas company? To quote myself, again:
Lost in the stories about the indictment is a significant fact: Parnas and Fruman were pursuing a liquefied gas venture in Ukraine, and thus could have benefited financially from an investigation of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest natural gas company. In this connection, I think it’s worth quoting at length from a post I wrote on October 2, nine days ago:
It’s good to see that Trump superfans are totally concerned about people with ties to the U.S. government using those ties to further their personal interests, or the interests of people they represent. That’s how I know Trump superfans will totally be Very Concerned about this:
The hunt by President Trump’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani for material in Ukraine damaging to Democrats has put a spotlight on business ties he has had in the former Soviet republic for at least a decade, work that has introduced him to high-level Ukrainian financial and political circles.
Giuliani has said he has been working for free solely to benefit his client, Trump, as he has sought information from Ukrainian officials — an effort that has spurred a House impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his power.
However, House investigators are now seeking records about Giuliani’s past clientele in Ukraine, including Pavel Fuks, a wealthy developer who financed consulting work Giuliani did in 2017 for the city of Kharkiv. That same year, according to court filings, Fuks said he was banned from entering the United States for five years. The documents do not specify why.
House committees have also requested documents and depositions from two of Giuliani’s current clients, Florida-based businessmen who have been pursuing opportunities in Ukraine for a new liquefied natural gas venture.
The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been assisting Giuliani’s push to get Ukrainian officials to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son and Giuliani’s claim that Democrats conspired with Ukrainians in the 2016 campaign.
A new liquefied natural gas venture. Hmmmmmmm. Does that sound familiar, Trump superfans?
Oooh! I know. Burisma is a natural gas company. In fact, the largest one in Ukraine.
And Rudy represents their competitors. Competitors who would stand to gain a lot if Burisma were criminally investigated in Ukraine.
By the way: why didn’t this happen earlier? That would be because Billy Barr’s DoJ kept blocking career prosecutors’ attempts to obtain a search warrant:
The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I. had sought for months to secure search warrants for Mr. Giuliani’s phones and electronic devices.
Under Mr. Trump, senior political appointees in the Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant, The New York Times reported, slowing the investigation as it was gaining momentum last year. After Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as Mr. Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.
Why, other than Giuliani being Trump’s lawyer, would the Trump toadies be concerned by a warrant on Giuliani? Let’s dig even deeper, shall we? Victoria Toensing was also targeted by the feds today:
F.B.I. agents on Wednesday morning also executed a search warrant at the Washington-area home of Victoria Toensing, a lawyer close to Mr. Giuliani who had dealings with several Ukrainians involved in seeking negative information on the Bidens, according to people with knowledge of that warrant, which sought her phone.
Ms. Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and senior Justice Department official, has also represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch under indictment in the United States whose help Mr. Giuliani sought.
The name “Dmitry Firtash” also should sound familiar to regular readers. I commend to you this post I wrote on November 25, 2019, which (to my knowledge uniquely and originally, at the time) made the connection between Firtash’s indictment for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a Very Mysterious Meeting Giuliani had held with DoJ officials — before those officials were aware that Giuliani was being criminally investigated — with the purpose of said meeting being “to discuss a case related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.” I can’t summarize the entirety of my argument from my 2019 post, but here was my conclusion:
You tell me, but to me it sounds a lot like Giuliani promised this Firtash guy help with his case — and delivered, using his connections with Trump to leverage a meeting with the guy running the Criminal Division (a guy, Brian Benczkowski, who has ties to a prominent Russian bank, by the way, who helped Barr make an instantaneous determination that the Ukranian mess was not criminal action on Trump’s part) — apparently in trade for help with getting dirt on Biden.
And getting dirt on Biden, we all know, was very important to one Donald J. Trump. Why, I seem to recall his being impeached over it, in fact.
It’s probably also worth noting that in December 2019, about three weeks after I wrote that post, it was reported that Firtash’s lawyer had made a $1 million payment to Parnas.
“Always trust content from Patterico,” I tell you folks all the time. In coming days and weeks, I guess we’ll get to see just how prescient I was about all of this.
UPDATE: Never mind?
Now I find a story from January 2020 based on FOIA'd documents indicating that the client that was the subject of Giuliani's meeting with DoJ was a Venezuelan: Alejandro Betancourt Lopez. Not sure whether to drag out the Emily Litella GIF or not… https://t.co/FfUtp0tXew
— Patterico (@Patterico) April 28, 2021
UPDATE x2: Nope, I think there may be a connection there after all.
Hmmmm. Fiona Hill talked to Congressional investigators about a possible Venezuelan connection to Parnas and Fruman. And they stayed at a resort owned by Betancourt. There may be a connection there after all! https://t.co/q9Pxel1eEA pic.twitter.com/mgr2UCIZ12
— Patterico (@Patterico) April 28, 2021
I’m sure there’s an innocent – and risibly implausible – explanation.Dave (1bb933) — 4/28/2021 @ 12:52 pm
Giuliani, I think, has indicated that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, or whoever, were lying about his interest in investing in Ukrainian companies.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/28/2021 @ 12:58 pm
That’s not implausible.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/28/2021 @ 12:59 pm
good thing i didn’t vote for rudyJF (e1156d) — 4/28/2021 @ 1:04 pm
Giuliani, through his attorney, says he has nothing to hide, and the search warrants involve one allegation of filing to register as a foreign agent. (Giuliani has said his only client was Donald Trump)Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/28/2021 @ 1:04 pm
Coincidence? On the day of the faux SOTU address, no less?!?!
“Look! It’s Halley’s Comet!”
… and Hunter smiled.DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/28/2021 @ 1:14 pm
Yes, but you did support Trump whose appointees appear to have tried to slow this down.Time123 (cd2ff4) — 4/28/2021 @ 1:32 pm
Giuliani deleted his tweet – it was later announced that, at the FBI was at his home for about 45 minutes, and he had handed over an iPad, a laptop and a cellphoneSammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/28/2021 @ 3:09 pm
Here’s another question: Why the search warrant on Toensing, but not one on her husband and co-conspirator, Joseph DiGenova? We might be hearing about more federal search warrants in the near future.
There’s another connection involving Giuliani, and that’s his association with Andrii Derkach, a known Russian spy who was feeding Giuliani all kinds of disinformation about Joe and Hunter Biden, and the guy was a source in that Giuliani “documentary” televised on OAN. Giuliani could be guilty of espionage, depending on what he fed to Derkach to help his “client” win.
The whole Giuliani-Toensing-DiGenova thing stinks to high heaven, given that Toensing-Digenova represent Russian-mafia connected Firtash (and she hired Parnas as an interpreter for Firtash), and two corrupt Ukrainian ex-prosecutors (Shokin and Lutsenko) and hyperpartisan yellow journalist John Solomon, and Sam Clovis, and Erik Prince, and of course Trump, our most corrupt president in American history. Their client list is a veritable Who’s Who of douchebags.Paul Montagu (26e0d1) — 4/28/2021 @ 3:48 pm
Boy will your face be red when Rudy gives a rational, measured explanation for all of this in his not at all batsh1t crazy for a criminal target teevee interview with Tucker Carlson tomorrow night.
Rudy is such a ding dong. How long before Trump is telling us he may have had his picture taken with Rudy at a party or two but Rudy never worked for him, and Trump certainly never talked to him about Ukraine. And as long as we’re on the subject, when is CrowdStrike bringing back that smuggled DNC server?lurker (59504c) — 4/28/2021 @ 8:04 pm
“… and Hunter smiled.”
Every accusation is a confession.Davethulhu (6ba00b) — 4/28/2021 @ 8:09 pm
For a lengthy discussion of the national security implications of the raids, and how they tie into Trumpworld attempts in 2019 to weaponize the Ukraine against Biden, there’s this:
The author is Adam Silverman, who has spent some time working for the feds.Victor (4959fb) — 4/28/2021 @ 11:08 pm
Even odds, Rudy is found by the court too mentally incompetent to assist in his defense, his kids are appointed conservators, and he retires to a condo next to a Trump resort, where he and Trump get together and complain that the Rothschild space lasers are spoiling the break on the green and Dominion is changing their scores.nk (1d9030) — 4/29/2021 @ 7:38 am
All of it a witch hunt by a man whose family actually did profit from the country, who now controls the DOJ to not a peep of complaint or suspicion by our host. Guess the cabal really doesn’t want commentary on this particular Five Eyes rice bowl of theirs. Good to know the Big Man’s crackhead son can reliably get inconveniently aggressive prosecutors fired still!
Ukraine is a poor and dirty country at the mercy of whichever Eastern or Western power broker’s paying the most, ergo any information you pull from it will have to go through dirty people with dirty motivations. As well ask for transparency in Cypriot financial instruments.
And Rudy will somehow be only the second high-profile person in DC who gets a full SWAT team sent in for VIOLATING HIS FARA DISCLOSURES, a shameless and one-sided justification for that Washington cabal to use to take down any lobbyist they don’t like for the crime of associating with people who aren’t on their take.Cyprus Ethics (78444c) — 4/29/2021 @ 11:08 am
Well, one could just as easily say that, now that Hunter’s dad is in the WH, Burisma is getting some revenge. They. Are. All. Crooks.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/29/2021 @ 11:12 am
One thing Rudy seems to be under investigation for, or what he did is under investigation, is (successfully) lobbying the United States government to fire the American Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, which happened before any of the Biden stuff.
Giuliani’s defense would be that he was not being paid, nor working for anyone in Ukraine, and was completely sincere. Parnass and Fruman had worked their way into his circle by making lots of contributions to Republican causes using laundered money (probably ultimately coming from Russian intelligence) and later they did hire him for some routine work, but that had nothing to do with his listening to what he was being told about Marie Yovanovich by Lev Parnass.
I think he was told, among other things, that she was working with people in Ukraine who had wanted to defeat Trump in 2016.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/29/2021 @ 11:36 am
Enjoy yourselves, progressives! You wanted Biden and this sh*tshow and you’re getting him – and it – good n’ hard!Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/29/2021 @ 12:17 pm
Hey Colonel Haiku,
good to see you.NJRob (eb56c3) — 4/29/2021 @ 12:30 pm
Enjoy yourselves, progressives! You wanted Biden and this sh*tshow and you’re getting him – and it – good n’ hard!
Uh, no, Colonel. We just strongly objected to your champion so much that Biden looked like a decent choice. Perhaps the GOP should reflect on that.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/29/2021 @ 12:49 pm
Just like the Dems should reflect on how Trump almost beat them again.
We have a terrible political class.Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/29/2021 @ 12:50 pm
Biden’s speech was boring AF. He didn’t do any insult comedy. He didn’t old man dance. There was no suspense that he was going to fall down a ramp or spill water all over himself. I don’t even think he made any references to his manhood.
Good thing I didn’t waste my time watching him read a boring speech where he claimed credit for things he’s not responsible for and promised to do a bunch of expensive lefty crap that I hope get’s completely bogged down in congress and never happens.
still glad Trump lost though.Time123 (b87ded) — 4/29/2021 @ 1:11 pm
Hey, Rob! I check in and peruse occasionally… always good to see you, Tanny and a few others trying to share some valuable insight with those in need.
“We just strongly objected to your champion so much that Biden looked like a decent choice. Perhaps the GOP should reflect on that.”
Not my “champion” but a damn sight better than Punxsutawney Joe, Kevin. Perhaps you and your cohort should reflect on how easy it was to put one over on you. Give some thought to the tremendous impact and dire consequences of your choice.Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/29/2021 @ 1:25 pm
Just yesterday I asked urbanleftbehind what happened with you, and then you appear! I would chalk it up to paying tithing, but I haven’t done that in 30 years. 🙂
How are you? Did you move to St. George? How do you like it?
I bought a brand new Mustang GT a couple of months ago. Loving it.norcal (01e272) — 4/29/2021 @ 3:14 pm
Rudy Giuliani about to be interviewed, live, on WABC radio 770 AM in New York, on the Rita Cosby show: (friend;y tp hom)
https://wabcradio.com/listen-live-with-alexaSammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/29/2021 @ 7:18 pm
Giuliani said the FBI didn’t want the hard drives with the Hunter Biden material. (it had evidence that Hunter Biden failed to file a FARA he saaid and that he lied to buy a gun)
The FBI relied on his word that those hard drives belonged to Hunter Biden.
He explained publicly before he says that if he had filed a FARA that he was representing a Ukrainina official he would be committing perjury.
To get a warrant *rather than a subpoena) there;s supposed to be fear the evidence would be destroyed.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/29/2021 @ 7:24 pm
Giuliani still misinterprets Hunter Biden’s message to his daughter.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 4/29/2021 @ 7:26 pm
This is about a fresh clqim – that Giuliani knew, or had special reason to know, that he was getting Russian disinformation. Not so. Nobody from the FBI told that to him.Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 5/1/2021 @ 7:04 pm