The FBI searched the home and office of Rudy Giuliani, who was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
The operation is part of an investigation into Giuliani’s negotiations with Ukraine. His lawyer says he denies breaking the law.
Prior to the 2020 presidential election, Giuliani led an effort to find incriminating information about Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.
Mr. Biden won the election and he and his son denied any wrongdoing.
Trump was accused of impeachment in 2019 on allegations that he sought help from Ukraine to increase his chances of re-election.
What do we know about the attack?
The searches took place on Wednesday at the former New York mayor’s apartment on the Upper East Side, as well as at his office on Park Avenue.
Several electronic devices belonging to the 76-year-old were seized, according to the New York Times.
The warrants included an allegation that Giuliani was unable to register as a foreign agent. The Foreign Agent Registration Act requires people to notify the State Department if they are acting as foreign agents on behalf of another nation.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, called the polls “legal violence”.
“This is totally unnecessary,” Costello told Fox News, adding that the search was carried out to “make him look like some kind of criminal.”
He added that the searches stem from an “alleged incident of non-registration as a foreign agent”.
Giuliani had already called the investigation “pure political persecution”.
What is the background?
Giuliani played a central role in the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. He was also instrumental in the dismissal of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, witnesses witnessed at Trump’s impeachment trial.
Hunter Biden is facing an unrelated criminal tax investigation by the United States Department of Justice.
The search warrant on Wednesday does not imply criminality on the part of Giuliani, but signals an escalation of the case for the former mayor.
Investigators have released few details so far about the case and it remains to be seen whether the Republican will face any charges.
The search warrant was signed by a federal judge. Warrants against lawyers like Giuliani require authorization from senior Justice Department officials, reports the Associated Press.
Giuliani started representing the former president in April 2018, when Trump was being investigated for his involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
After Trump’s defeat in the November elections, Giuliani traveled the country speaking to Republican state lawmakers in an effort to get state lawmakers to overturn the result in Trump’s favor.