Rudy Giuliani faces fresh investigation over alleged Turkish lobbying, report claims

Giuliani-Law License Suspended (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Giuliani-Law License Suspended (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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Rudy Giuliani is facing an investigation by the Department of Justice into alleged lobbying on behalf of Turkish interests. The probe is separate from the investigation of Mr Giuliani’s actions in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the issue, Bloomberg News reports.

The former personal lawyer for Donald Trump and previous mayor of New York City has been hounded by questions about whether he was acting for Turkish interests when he urged the Trump administration in 2017 to drop charges of money-laundering against gold trader Reza Zarrab and to deport Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim cleric.

Zarrab subsequently pleaded guilty and implicated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a scheme to evade sanctions.

Mr Erdogan claims that Mr Gulen was behind a 2016 coup attempt against his government.

The investigation into Mr Giuliani and his actions on behalf of Turkish interests isn’t criminal, Bloomberg News writes.

The Ukraine investigation, on the other hand, prompted the FBI to seize numerous electronic devices from Mr Giuliani’s New York City home and office on 28 April.

Mr Giuliani has denied lobbying for Ukrainian and Turkish interests, and the government has not accused the former mayor of wrongdoing in relation to either investigation.

If the government decides in the Turkey investigation that Mr Giuliani did act in for foreign interests, it could require him to register as a lobbyist and also to reveal all contacts he has had with both US and Turkish officials regarding both Zarrab and Mr Gulen.

The new probe is an addition to other legal matters complicating things for Mr Giuliani. He also recently had his New York law license suspended following his trumpeting of the former president’s lies about the 2020 election being stolen.

Mr Giuliani is also being sued by manufacturers of voting machines for his claims about the election and by members of Congress who argue that he helped incite the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January. Mr Giuliani is trying to get those lawsuits dismissed.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Giuliani and the Department of Justice for comment.

Allies of Mr Giuliani have started a “freedom fund” to help him defend himself against lawsuits they think are unfounded.

Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik wrote in a Saturday tweet: “In an attempt to assist ⁦Rudy Giuliani to defend himself from frivolous lawsuits, a weaponized Justice Department, and the New York Bar, we have created the Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund. This is the official Defense Fund for this American Patriot.”

The fund’s website argues that Mr Giuliani “was repeatedly censored for trying to expose the truth about the Biden Family’s corruption ahead of the 2020 presidential election” and alleges that the “Deep State” is trying to “take down” Trump allies.

“The swamp is revolting by placing a bull’s eye on the backs of every Trump loyalist who had the guts to challenge the Deep State,” the website states. “That puts Rudy at the top of their list.”

Suspending his New York law license, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, wrote in its ruling that Mr Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large” in relation to the Trump campaign.

“These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client,” the ruling said.

“They’re looking for a crime,” Mr Giuliani told Newsmax last week about the decision. “Do you know how un-American that is? We investigate allegations of crimes,” he said. “We don’t go search a man’s life to invent or find crimes.”

Mr Trump issued a statement of support, saying: “Can you believe that New York wants to strip Rudy Giuliani, a great American Patriot, of his law license because he has been fighting what has already been proven to be a Fraudulent Election?”

There has been no evidence to suggest that the outcome of the 2020 election was illegitimate.

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