Former President Donald Trump and his associates need to be careful. A search warrant executed against Rudy Giuliani, a former private lawyer for Trump, demonstrates a leap forward in the Justice Department’s investigation of potential illegal activity over the past four years. It shows forward turbulence for both Giuliani and his previous clients.
Obtaining these warrants is not easy. You need to convince the judge that there are possible causes of cheating. The warrant must also pass rigorous examination at the highest level of the Department of Justice. The fact that these warrants survived this double scrutiny is itself a sign of serious problems for the former Mayor of New York. It is especially unusual for a prosecutor to enforce a warrant against a lawyer (a recent notable example is Michael Cohen, someone else who served as Trump’s lawyer). This further illustrates the depth of Giuliani’s crisis.
Evidence for Giuliani and Trump
Since it has been published so far, including approval from Giuliani himself, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that by acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Ukrainian “source”, the Foreign Agent Registration Act I’m investigating whether I violated. Evidence that helped me present as a lawyer in the first impeachment of Trump is that Giuliani is on the agenda of the Ukrainian people trying to expel US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, a stubborn corruption fighter that was finally pushed out. I showed that I was proceeding.
In recent years, FARA has been more strongly enforced in the aftermath of proceedings against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Giuliani’s investigation is accelerating now that Trump and his Judiciary allies are absent. It would be unusual to carry out this type of assault if the prosecutor had not considered prosecuting Giuliani under FARA.
Does his potential exposure stop there? Last week I was often asked if FARA could really be everything the government is looking at. The truth is that it is difficult to predict what else Giuliani could be accused of at this stage. Even the prosecutor himself may still be working on the question.
That said, investigators may be on the lookout for other potential accusations as they are waiting for a review of seized evidence by screening a special independent DOJ group of privileged material. .. For example, Giuliani could be guilty of a criminal conspiracy. His client, Trump, allegedly criminalizing Ukraine in violation of federal bribery and other legislation was detailed in the first impeachment. There is evidence that Trump was involved in the Ukrainian shakedown and Ukrainian officials withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in the military aid desperately needed to attack Joe Biden, who was running for Democratic presidential nomination at the time. ..
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Giuliani may also be potentially exposed as a conspirator under federal conspiracy law if bribes or other criminal elements are established. If “two or more people collude to commit a crime against the United States, or scam the United States or its institutions in any way or for any purpose,” it causes a crime. As long as Giuliani is part of the alleged plan and public evidence appears to suggest a consensus of purpose with his clients, he is at risk.
In fact, in a CNN interview in September 2019, Giuliani initially denied requesting Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, and then admitted that he did.
Red flag for playing cards and friends
However, impeachment records and admission on cable TV will only be available to prosecutors so far. Giuliani’s home and office raids last week could generate additional direct simultaneous evidence linking him directly to Trump’s alleged Ukrainian shakedown. Text, phone calls, notes, or other evidence is very likely to be on the seized device. Communication between two men is usually privileged as part of the relationship between the lawyer and the client. However, under the exception of criminal fraud, if Giuliani was part of the alleged crime of the former president, attorney / client privileges do not protect his communication related to this illegal activity.
Do not exaggerate the case of additional charges above FARA. Allegations of conspiracy are almost uncertain about the published evidence. Nonetheless, that or other accusation may lie behind these attacks, and seized material may help the government get there. Even if this is not the case, the cases that could violate FARA criminally are serious in their own right. Giuliani is not Al Capone, but it is worth remembering that the gang was not extorted and was convicted of not submitting a government form (in his case a tax return).
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All this has a profound effect not only on Giuliani, but also on the president he served. If there is abominable evidence recovered through the warrant, it is possible that Trump is directly related to Ukrainian-related misconduct. Alternatively, evidence could strengthen the proceedings against Giuliani until he “turned over”, turned on Trump, and testified to him on this or other issue.
And apart from the Giuliani case, the assault shows that the DOJ is trying to track down fraudsters regardless of political considerations. Both as president and before he took office, it should also tremble on his spine due to widespread potential cheating by Trump.
Whatever the final outcome of the Giuliani case, there is one thing that is clear. This is all a danger signal to Trump and anyone else who has followed his lead by playing the law quickly and loosely. Accountability is coming.
Norman Eisen (@NormEisen), A former ambassador and ethics officer of President Barack Obama, and a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, who will be the impeachment lawyer for the Democratic Party of the House Judiciary Committee in 2019-20.
FBI raids show accountability is coming
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