WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors have discussed making a legal request for Rudy Giuliani’s electronic communication, two sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News, a sign that the investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is active and soon to be in the spot. Can.
Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have said in communication with officials of the Department of Justice in Washington about their desire to see Giuliani’s emails. SDNY requires Washington approval before prosecutors can ask a judge to sign a search warrant for content that may be protected by attorney-client privilege, as per department policy. It is not known whether SDNY has been approved by Washington.
The scope of the current investigation is unclear, but in October 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that SDNY prosecutors were reviewing Giuliani’s bank records as part of an investigation into his behavior in Ukraine. Two of his former colleagues, Lev Pernas and Igor Fruman, were arrested that month on campaign finance charges and have since been charged with additional offenses related to wire fraud conspiracy. Parnas and Fruman plead not guilty.
In February, the Washington Post reported that prosecutors were contacting witnesses and seeking to collect additional documents as part of their investigation into Giuliani.
Since then, little was known about the status of the investigation and whether Giuliani was still under scrutiny for his efforts to convince Ukraine to investigate the then candidate Joe Biden on the business dealings of his son Hunter in the country .
Two sources familiar, however, say investigations into Giuliani are continuing, one saying that it is “very active.”
A Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment, as did Nicholas Bayse, a spokesman for the Southern District of New York.
Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello told NBC News, “I have no reason to believe that my client has any truth in the renewed allegations.”
Now with the presidential election, the Justice Department rules that prevent prosecutors from overt actions that could affect the election no longer apply.
Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said he could see Justice Department officials in Washington hesitate to approve a search warrant out of concern that its issuance may be made public.
NBC News analyst Rosenberg said, “Perhaps it is prudent to treat a search warrant as an overt search move.” “Search warrants for personal belongings of a subject are not very prudent and the person receiving the warrant can talk about it. This can be a valid concern before an election but the equation changes after an election , When you no longer need to avoid overtake checks. Steps. “
Earlier this month, Hunter Biden announced that his taxes were being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware. A source familiar with that investigation said the prosecution avoided taking steps that could go public on election days because their work involved a candidate’s son.
Giuliani was released from the hospital on 10 December following treatment related to his positive diagnosis of Kovid-19. On December 1, the New York Times reported that Giuliani was in talks with Trump about a possible preemptive pardon that would spur him to federal charges, which Giuliani has denied.