Giuliani at a Republican hearing
Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, has his Manhattan home searched by federal investigators.
The raid was ordered as part of an investigation into Mr Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine, officials say.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating Mr Giuliani’s role in trying to get Ukrainian officials to dig up political filth on Joe Biden.
Efforts to pressure Ukraine resulted in Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2019.
The search warrant was carried out on Wednesday at the former mayor’s home on former East Avenue Side Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office.
According to the New York Times, officials involved in the criminal investigation seized several electronic devices from the 76-year-old, who is also the former mayor of New York City.
The newspaper reports that federal officials are investigating whether Mr Giuliani was illegally lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Ukraine.
Mr. Giuliani previously described the investigation as “pure political persecution”.
Mr. Giuliani played a central role in efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of directors of a Ukrainian energy company. He was also instrumental in the eviction of the former US ambassador to Ukraine, as witnessed by the impeachment proceedings against Trump.
The Bidens have denied wrongdoing. Hunter Biden faces an independent tax investigation by the US Department of Justice.
Wednesday’s search warrant does not imply any crime on the part of Mr Giuliani, but signals an extension of the case to the former mayor.
Investigators have released few details on the case so far, and it is unknown if the Republican will ever bring charges.
The search warrant was signed by a federal judge. Arrest warrants against lawyers like Mr. Giuliani require approval from senior Justice Department officials, Associated Press reports.
Mr Giuliani began representing the former president in April 2018 when Mr Trump was under investigation for his involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
After Mr Trump’s loss of the election in November, Mr Giuliani toured the country speaking to Republican lawmakers to get state lawmakers to reverse the outcome in Mr Trump’s favor.