Former Trump attorney Giuliani denies representing the Ukrainians
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: President Donald Trump makes remarks at the NY Police event in Bedminster, New Jersey
(Reuters) -Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani denied ever representing a Ukrainian citizen on Thursday, a day after federal agents raided his Manhattan home and office to investigate his business in Ukraine.
Giuliani said the agents had seized seven or eight electronic devices and the search warrant alleged that he had not registered as a foreign agent in violation of lobbying laws.
“I have never represented a Ukrainian citizen or official before the United States government,” Giuliani said in an interview with Fox News.
The federal prosecutor’s office has been investigating Giuliani for almost a year and a half because of his Ukrainian business while he was serving as Trump’s lawyer. He was not officially accused of doing anything wrong.
Trump criticized the federal investigation against Giuliani on Thursday.
“It’s very, very unfair,” Trump told Fox Business Network in a telephone interview. “Rudy is a patriot who loves this country and I don’t know what they’re looking for, what they’re doing. They said it had to do with filing different papers.”
A spokesman for the former Republican president said in February that Giuliani is not representing Trump on any current legal matter.
Giuliani played a central role in Trump’s failed attempt to overcome his 2020 election defeat due to false claims of massive election fraud.
Wednesday’s search was a significant step in investigators’ investigation. A 2019 grand jury subpoena for Giuliani’s financial records from Reuters revealed agents were investigating possible money laundering, wire fraud, campaign funding violations, false testimony, obstruction of justice, and violations of federal law on the registration of foreign agents.
It is the last turning point for Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who rose to national prominence after the September 11, 2001 attacks and once headed the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan that is now investigating him.
Giuliani began representing Trump in 2018 as part of an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won.
Before the 2020 elections, Giuliani made efforts to tarnish Democratic competitor Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine. Biden defeated Trump and took office earlier this year. Both Biden and his son have denied wrongdoing.
The FBI warned Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at spreading lies intended to politically harm Biden, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello did not immediately return a request for comment on the Post story.
Costello said Wednesday that authorities had confiscated cell phones and computers and, along with Giuliani’s son Andrew, suggested that his client’s investigation was politically motivated – an indictment the White House denied.
Biden said Thursday that he was unaware of the Justice Department’s actions and was keeping his election promise to maintain his independence.
“I made a promise,” he told NBC News in an interview. “I wouldn’t interfere in any way … I found out about this last night when the rest of the world found out about it.”
Giuliani is facing separate legal action in relation to his actions in connection with the November election and the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 by Trump supporters – one by a Democratic congressman and one by the voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems .