Manhattan Feds: He May Be A Lawyer, But Giuliani Is Not Above The Law

Attorney for the President, Rudy Giuliani, speaks at a news conference in the parking lot of a landscaping company on November 7, 2020 in Philadelphia. - Joe Biden has won the US presidency over Donald Trump, TV netw... Attorney for the President, Rudy Giuliani, speaks at a news conference in the parking lot of a landscaping company on November 7, 2020 in Philadelphia. - Joe Biden has won the US presidency over Donald Trump, TV networks projected on November 7, 2020. CNN, NBC News and CBS News called the race in his favor, after projecting he had won the decisive state of Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 21, 2021 11:42 a.m.

Rudy Giuliani is not above the law, and nor is he “immune to criminal investigation,” Manhattan federal prosecutors said in a late Thursday filing.

Prosecutors hit back at Giuliani after he asked a judge to give him the right to decide what evidence taken during the execution of search warrants on his home and office last month should be allowed to go to the government.

In the 30-page document, prosecutors say that the request would place their “ongoing, multi-year grand jury investigation” into Giuliani under threat, and find themselves in the bizarre position of having to defend an investigation before charges have even been filed.

The document also reveals, contra Giuliani’s attorney Bob Costello, that federal agents seized 11 of the former New York City mayor’s personal phones and computers last month, in addition to seven devices that belonged to Giuliani’s company, Giuliani Partners LLC. Costello had said that only 10 of Giuliani’s devices were taken.

Prosecutors said that while they have been able to access all of Giuliani’s devices, they have not yet received access codes to the hard drives owned by his company.

“The FBI will be attempting to access those devices without a passcode, which may take time,” the filing reads.

Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, the conservative lawyer who worked with Rudy in his bid to squeeze dirt on Biden out of Ukraine, both argued that their status as lawyers would make it exceedingly difficult for a special master to determine what information could be used by the government and what would be privileged.

Prosecutors dismissed that argument, saying that their “requests proceed from a central premise: that a different set of rules apply to them because of who they are, whether it is because they are lawyers or lawyers with important clients.”

That’s as close as the filing comes to mentioning former president Trump, apart from a reference to the case of Michael Cohen, where a special master was also used to sort out evidence before prosecutors brought charges.

Otherwise, the government accused Giuliani of seeking a “detailed preview of the Government’s evidence before a criminal action had even been initiated.”

Prosecutors said that Giuliani’s request would expose details of the investigation, including “significant quantities of materials that have not been publicly revealed and were obtained pursuant to search warrants and subpoenas.”

It could also threaten, prosecutors said, witnesses in the probe.

“Revealing to Giuliani or others precisely what evidence the Government has collected, who the subjects of the investigation are, who the Government has interviewed, and how the Government views the evidence collectively could cause significant harms to the investigation, including causing witnesses to be unwilling to speak with the Government out of fear that their information will immediately be made public (including to the individuals under investigation), and causing witnesses to coordinate their testimony or potentially destroy evidence,” the filing reads.

Federal prosecutors have reportedly been investigating Giuliani for failing to register as a foreign lobbyist relating to his work in Ukraine. Whether the probe potentially has a broader scope remains unclear.

“They do not know (and are not entitled to know) everything the Government has learned over the multi-year grand jury investigation,” prosecutors said, referring to Giuliani and Toensing.

Read the filing here:

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