Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine, including whether he conducted illegal lobbying for Ukrainian officials while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden, CNN has reported. Giuliani hasn’t been charged and has denied wrongdoing.
It is unusual for prosecutors to execute a search warrant on a lawyer, although Manhattan federal prosecutors have done so before, most notably in recent years against another former lawyer for Trump, Michael Cohen.
On Wednesday afternoon, an attorney for Giuliani, Robert Costello, said the warrant described an investigation into possible violation of foreign lobbying laws and that it sought communications between Giuliani and people including a former columnist for The Hill, John Solomon.
A search warrant for a lawyer like Giuliani would require sign-off by the highest levels of the Department of Justice, likely by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco or the acting deputy attorney general who served prior to her confirmation, according to departmental guidelines.
The Times reported that investigators seized Giuliani’s electronic devices, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.
Then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, along with other officials at Justice headquarters and the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, decided not to make a final decision, CNN reported, in part because there would soon be a change in the administration.
The New York federal prosecutors wanted to seize Giuliani’s devices when they first sought to execute the search warrant last year, CNN previously reported.
Giuliani has been under scrutiny by Manhattan federal prosecutors since early 2019. The inquiry has explored whether Giuliani may have been engaged in undisclosed foreign lobbying for Ukrainian officials when he sought the ouster of the US ambassador to Ukraine as well as an investigation into the Bidens for his own personal benefit at the same time he was pursuing those efforts as Trump’s attorney.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Evan Perez, Katelyn Polantz, Sara Murray, and Jason Morris contributed to this report.