Federal investigators seized more info in case against Trump ex-lawyer
New York federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani have seized material from a wider array of individuals than previously disclosed, including messages from email and iCloud accounts they believe belong to two former Ukrainian government officials, as well as the cell phone and iPad of a pro-Trump Ukrainian businessman, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday. The court filing, which contained redacted portions that CNN was able to read by copying and pasting them into another document, also disclosed that federal prosecutors have "historical and prospective cell site information" related to Giuliani and another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, both of whom were the subjects of search warrants executed late last month.
The Ukrainians include the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, the former head of the Ukrainian Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov and businessman Alexander Levin.
The filing, written by an attorney for an indicted former Giuliani ally Lev Parnas, describes a chart in which federal prosecutors described the scope of the materials they sought and seized beginning in late 2019 and continuing through earlier this year.
Though prosecutors had previously indicated that their investigation was expansive and encompassed people beyond Giuliani and Toensing, they hadn't publicly identified the other recipients of subpoenas or subjects of search warrants.
Prosecutors are investigating whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws by operating on behalf of Ukrainian officials when he sought the ouster of the then-US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, while urging Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rival, then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, CNN has reported.
Giuliani has said his activities in Ukraine were done in his capacity as a lawyer for his former client, former President Donald Trump, and that he "never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government."
Prosecutors appear to have pursued material connected to Giuliani's efforts abroad. Lutsenko, whose email account prosecutors targeted, met with Giuliani several times, and several former US State Department officials testified that he was part of a smear campaign against Yovanovich. Lutsenko falsely said that Yovanovich was speaking negatively about Trump and that she gave him a "do not prosecute" list.
The nature of prosecutors' interest in material from Nasirov's email and iCloud accounts and from Levin's iPhone and iPad wasn't immediately clear.
Parnas' lawyer, Joseph Bondy, filed the letter on behalf of attorneys for all of the defendants in Parnas' case, asking a federal judge for a status conference on materials seized by authorities in the searches executed on Giuliani and Toensing in late April, saying the searches produced documents relevant to the case against Parnas, former Giuliani ally Igor Fruman and a third defendant, Andrey Kukushkin.
All three have pleaded not guilty.
A spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney's office declined to comment.
Bondy declined to comment, and Robert Costello, a lawyer for Giuliani, could not immediately be reached for comment. Toensing's lawyer declined to comment.
Bondy wrote that the evidence seized "likely includes e-mail, text, and encrypted communications" between Giuliani, Toensing, former President Donald Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr, "high-level members of the Justice Department, Presidential impeachment attorneys Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and others, Senator Lindsey Graham, Congressman Devin Nunes and others, relating to the timing of the arrest and indictment of the defendants as a means to prevent potential disclosures to Congress in the first impeachment inquiry of then-President Donald. J. Trump."
In prior court filings, prosecutors disclosed they seized 18 electronic devices from Giuliani in late April and had covertly searched his iCloud account in 2019; they also acknowledged they took Toensing's cell phone during the April searches.
Because both Giuliani and Toensing are lawyers, they have been at odds with prosecutors over whether and how authorities may be able to access the material seized from those searches while protecting attorney-client privilege.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.
The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.
The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.