Federal agents seized 18 electronic devices belonging to Rudy Giuliani and employees of his company when they executed search warrants on his home and office last month, according to a newly unsealed court filing.
It’s not clear how many of those devices belong to Giuliani personally, and how many belong to employees of the company that prosecutors named in the filing, Giuliani Partners LLC.
Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello told Reuters on May 3 that 10 of Giuliani’s phones and computers had been seized.
A voracious user of the telephone, Giuliani is known to switch between multiple phones and numbers. Joseph Bondy, an attorney for Giuliani’s former associate Lev Parnas, filed in his client’s criminal case in December a transcript of a voicemail message that Giuliani left for Bondy, saying that he needed to talk but that the number would soon change.
“The Government seized 18 electronic devices belonging to Giuliani and certain employees of Giuliani Partners pursuant to those warrants,” the filing reads.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken for the Southern District of New York unsealed the filing from Manhattan federal prosecutors asking for a special master to be appointed to review evidence gathered from the warrants. The feds also seized a cell phone belonging to Victoria Toensing, an attorney and conservative media personality who worked with Giuliani to gather dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
A special master was also used to sort out what evidence could be used and what was subject to privilege in the case of Michael Cohen, another Trump lawyer. In that case, around one percent of materials were thrown out due to privilege concerns.
Prosecutors said in the filing that while they had used a filter team — a group of DOJ lawyers and FBI agents unrelated to the case — to sift through earlier warrants executed on Giuliani’s iCloud account in November 2019, the former NYC’s mayor decision to “publicize” the warrants meant that a special master was needed.
“Given that the searches now at issue were done in an overt manner and have been publicized by both of the targets of those searches, as well as the unusually sensitive privilege issues that the Warrants may implicate, the Government considers it appropriate for the Court to appoint a special master to make the privilege determinations as to materials seized pursuant to the Warrants,” the filing reads.
Giuliani has claimed that both attorney-client privilege and executive privilege apply to the information seized, though president Trump has yet to say that prosecutors can’t use anything that was taken.
Giuliani has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the matter, though that hasn’t stopped him from starting to throw up chaff around the case.
Read the filing here: