On Thursday, May 21, federal prosecutors said that the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would not be exempted from investigation even if he were a lawyer.
The remarks came after Giuliani’s attorneys questioned the relevance of the search warrants executed on their client’s iCloud account in 2019 and his home and office last month, for which the Justice Department granted permission.
The warrants used the years-long investigation into Giuliani’s relation with Ukraine officials and oligarchs for potential lobbying violations when he was former President Donald Trump’s lawyer during the times he was still in office.
Federal prosecutors have requested a special master to review the content of the confidential information they extracted from the seized properties by FBI agents. The attorneys argued it could be a disregard of Giuliani’s attorney-client privilege with Trump, in addition to Trump’s presidential rights to have his related information sealed.
“The validity of the 2019 covert warrant, and the handling of the information obtained by the prosecutor are serious questions that must be resolved before any further damage is done,” the attorneys wrote in a letter reported by CNBC.
“Moreover, the fruits of that 2019 search were certainly used in some part to secure the 2021 largely duplicative search warrant and subsequent seizures. It is for those reasons that it is premature to consider a special master before these critical issues are resolved,” they wrote.
The attorneys demanded that the legacy of the search warrants must first be determined before a special master is allowed to access the data which the federal raids extracted.
In response to Guiliani’s attorneys’ concerns, the federal prosecutors said that a special master was a gesture of respecting such potential privilege among the seized materials. Members of the investigating teams on the case of the former New York City mayor would not violate such rights if a so-called filter were involved.
They also fired back that being a lawyer would not mean that Giuliani was “above the law or immune to criminal investigation.”
“Giuliani argues that, quite unlike other subjects of criminal investigations, he is entitled to review the affidavits supporting the warrants, which would effectively give him the extraordinary benefit of knowing the government’s evidence before even being charged with a crime,” the prosecutors said, as reported by Reuters.
According to a statement by Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello at the end of April, the former mayor’s “conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical.” He was treated with a “corrupted double standard” in a witch hunt that the federal prosecutors are conducting. In contrast, other individuals such as Hilary Clinton, Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden do not even face the mildest of investigations.