Manhattan federal prosecutors discussed asking a court to give them access to Rudy Giuliani’s electronic communications, NBC reported on Monday.
According to anonymous sources who spoke to the news outlet, Justice Department officials have been in discussion with Manhattan federal prosecutors about asking a judge for a warrant that would allow them to access Giuliani’s emails, some of which may be protected by attorney-client privilege.
The discussions would mark an escalation of a federal criminal probe into Giuliani that’s reportedly been going on since at least August 2019.
It’s unclear how wide-ranging the investigation is, though Manhattan federal prosecutors have interviewed potential witnesses in Ukraine about Giuliani’s financial dealings regarding the country. Two of the former New York City mayor’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted in October 2019 on campaign finance charges.
Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty to the charges. During President Trump’s impeachment over his effort to pressure the Ukrainian government into manufacturing dirt on Joe Biden, Parnas began releasing troves of emails and text messages that he had exchanged with Giuliani and others involved in the international incident.
It’s not clear from the NBC report whether the DOJ has approved, has denied or is still considering the request for access to Giuliani’s emails.
CNN has reported that prosecutors were wary of the case affecting the 2020 election, and that the investigation ramped up again after the election. The network obtained a grand jury subpoena that asked for communications regarding Giuliani or companies affiliated with him.
Amid all this, the President’s lawyer has reportedly discussed a pardon with his client, President Trump.