Federal agents have executed a search warrant on Wednesday at the Manhattan apartment of Rudy Giuliani, advancing a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors that has been underway for months, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine.
He 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.
Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney’s office declined to comment.
The New York Times was first to report the search.
The Times reported that investigators seized Giuliani’s electronic devices, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.
The New York federal prosecutors leading the investigation into Giuliani have previously sought a search warrant for him, raising the prospect last year of seeking one for his communications, but they were met at the time with resistance from Justice Department officials in Washington over the strength of their evidence, according to a previous report by CNN.
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, 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 according to CNN.
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, according to departmental guidelines.
Giuliani has been under scrutiny by Manhattan federal prosecutors for more than two years.
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.
In 2019, two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted on campaign finance charges stemming from an alleged straw donor scheme.
Parnas and Fruman met with Giuliani, helping introduce him to Ukrainian officials. They have pleaded not guilty.