Federal investigators from the office Rudy Giuliani used to lead searched the former New York City mayor's Manhattan apartment and Park Avenue office early Wednesday, sources tell numerous outlets. Insiders tell the New York Times that Giuliani's electronic devices were seized in connection with an investigation of his dealings in Ukraine. Sources tell the Times and AP that the United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan, which Giuliani led from 1983 to 1989, pushed for a search warrant last year but the Justice Department under former President Trump refused to sign off on it. The AP reports that in doing so now, prosecutors are indicating they have probable cause that Giuliani committed a federal crime; that does not mean he will be charged. The Times calls it "an extraordinary move for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president."
Giuliani lawyer Roberto Costello confirmed the searches to the Times, calling them unnecessary and "legal thuggery." Giuliani has not been charged and he has denied wrongdoing, CNN reports. He hasn't commented on the Wednesday search yet, but he has previously described the investigation as "pure political persecution." The Times reports that investigators have been focusing on whether Giuliani illegally lobbied for the administration on behalf of Ukrainian oligarchs. Giuliani has longstanding connections in Ukraine and worked on behalf of Trump to try to dig up damaging information on President Biden and his son, Hunter. Two Soviet-born men who aided Giuliani's investigation were arrested in the US in 2019 on campaign finance charges. Politico reports that investigators suspect Giuliani was paid for his efforts to persuade Trump to oust US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. (Read more Rudy Giuliani stories.)