Rudy Giuliani will not face criminal charges from a foreign lobbying investigation led by his former prosecutor's office, feds say

Rudy Giuliani will not face criminal charges from a foreign lobbying investigation led by his former prosecutor's office, feds say
  • The FBI raided former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's home and office in April 2021.

  • Feds examined Giuliani's entanglements in Ukraine, which contributed to Trump's first impeachment.

  • Giuliani still faces scrutiny related to his efforts to help Trump overturn the 2020 election.

Federal prosecutors in New York have declined to bring criminal charges against Rudy Giuliani following an investigation centered on whether the former New York City mayor illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials.

In a court filing Monday, the Justice Department said a grand jury investigation into Giuliani had concluded, and "based on information currently available to the government, criminal charges are not forthcoming."

Prosecutors filed that notification more than a year after the FBI searched his home and office. Following that April 2021 search, a federal judge in Manhattan appointed an outside arbiter — known as a special master — to oversee the review of materials seized by the FBI.

With its filing Monday, the Justice Department asked the court to end the appointment of that special master, Barbara Jones, a retired federal judge in Manhattan.

A spokesperson for the US attorney's office in Manhattan declined to comment. A lawyer for Giuliani, Robert Costello, said the defense team was "not surprised" by the decision to not bring charges but "grateful" that the federal prosecutor's office confirmed in a public court filing that the investigation had closed.

"We have said for the past three years that Mayor Giuliani did nothing wrong and today the SDNY said we were right," Costello told Insider, referring to the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

Before his election as New York City mayor and his later role as a Trump lawyer, Giuliani led the US attorney's office in Manhattan, where he earned a reputation as a hard-charging prosecutor eager for the spotlight. In a memoir, former FBI Director James Comey recounted his own tenure in the US attorney's office and recalled a supervisor there saying, "The most dangerous place in New York is between Rudy and a microphone."

Years later, that same office examined whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration for Ukrainian officials who worked to help him impugn Joe Biden and his family ahead of the 2020 election. As part of the investigation, the FBI and federal prosecutors examined Giuliani's entanglements with officials in Ukraine, which helped lead to former President Donald Trump's first impeachment.

Federal investigators scrutinized his ties to the top prosecutor in Ukraine at the time, Yuriy Lutsenko, as part of an inquiry into whether Giuliani lobbied for the ouster of the US ambassador to Ukraine at his behest.

For weeks, Giuliani advocated for the removal of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch. She was recalled in April 2019.

Meanwhile, as Ukraine's top prosecutor, Lutshenko was positioned to announce an investigation into Biden and Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company whose board once included his son Hunter Biden.

Giuliani maintained that he advocated for Yovanovitch's dismissal out of a belief that she was disloyal to Trump and not at the behest of a foreign interest.

The investigation unfolded as the Justice Department ramped up its enforcement of laws that prohibit covert influence activities for foreign governments and other overseas powers.

In recent weeks, the Justice Department has suffered setbacks on that front. Earlier this month, a jury in Brooklyn found Thomas Barrack, a businessman and Trump advisor, not guilty of charges he illegally lobbied the former president and his administration on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.

Only weeks earlier, a federal judge tossed a civil lawsuit in which the Justice Department sought to compel the casino mogul Steve Wynn to register as a foreign agent of China.

For Giuliani, the closure of the foreign lobbying investigation removed only one area of legal scrutiny.

In Georgia, an Atlanta-area prosecutor is investigating Giuliani in connection with his efforts to help Trump overturn the 2020 election. Giuliani has also faced professional consequences: Last year, his licenses to practice law were suspended in New York and in Washington, DC.

Read the original article on Business Insider