Manhattan federal prosecutors are looking as far as Poland and Ukraine in their investigation of Rudy Giuliani, newly unsealed court documents reveal.
A series of August 2021 letters from Giuliani attorney Robert Costello, released to the public on Tuesday, purport to show the scope of search warrants that were executed on Giuliani’s apartment and office in April.
Per the documents, prosecutors are investigating the former NYC mayor for failing to register as a foreign agent from Aug. 1, 2018 to the end of 2019 — the period during which Giuliani’s search for dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine got his client, former President Trump, impeached.
Costello did not file the warrants themselves as exhibits, but rather quoted from them in letters filed in litigation over their execution. Giuliani, through his attorneys, has repeatedly tried to limit prosecutors’ access to evidence taken in the April seizures.
But the documents appear to reveal that prosecutors sought six categories of documents from Giuliani’s home and business, including:
- Communications with 12 unidentified individuals
- Evidence relating to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch
- Retainer agreements with any Ukrainian national including former prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko
- Evidence of work regarding asset manager Franklin Templeton “or the recovery of assets stolen” from Ukraine
- Evidence around a trip Giuliani took to Poland in February 2019
- Evidence of knowledge of FARA laws
The categories of information sought, in some ways, offer a retelling of Giuliani’s role in the impeachment saga.
Giuliani spent much of 2019 seeking to extract dirt from Ukraine about Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who held a board position at Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The former mayor enlisted two Soviet-born associates in that endeavor: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Manhattan federal prosecutors charged the pair with campaign finance violations in October 2019.
But before that hiccup, the group managed to establish contact with two successive Ukrainian presidential administrations.
Parnas, post-indictment, revealed details of his ham-handed exploits with Giuliani by releasing text messages to the House Intelligence Committee. Those documents suggested that the Ukrainian prosecutor apparently named in the search warrant, Yuriy Lutsenko, directed much of his and Giuliani’s activity.
Namely, Lutsenko sought the removal of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had criticized him for failing to fight corruption, as Parnas and Giuliani asked Lutsenko to publicly announce a corruption investigation into the Bidens. Lutsenko, in several appearances with right-wing journalist John Solomon, claimed that he was investigating the Bidens.
The New York Times reported in 2019 that Giuliani signed a retainer agreement with Lutsenko.
Prosecutors also have an apparent interest in a trip that Giuliani took to Poland in February 2019. During that sojourn, which occurred simultaneously with a visit to the country by then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence, Giuliani met with Parnas about the dirt-digging operation. He also made time for an appearance at an MeK rally, an Iranian dissident group with a storied history of wining and dining American politicos.
Prosecutors’ apparent interest in Franklin Templeton remains unclear. A Ukrainian parliamentarian said in December 2019 that he fed Giuliani a conspiracy theory about the investment fund, which revolved around $7 billion in Kyiv-issued government bonds that the investor purchased in the mid-2010s.
The letters reveal that prosecutors appear to be actively scrutinizing information obtained in the April seizures.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken for the Southern District of New York ordered the letters unsealed on Tuesday, after denying Giuliani what he sought: a review of evidence seized by the FBI in the case to date.
Read the letters here: