Federal prosecutors advanced Giuliani-linked probe as impeachment concluded: report

Federal prosecutors in New York were pursuing an investigation related to Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiKerry responds to Trump accusation he violated Logan Act: 'Another presidential lie' Giuliani worked for Dominican Republic candidate amid Ukraine efforts: report Democratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE’s personal attorney, as the Senate’s impeachment trial was concluding, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The investigation, run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, is focused on the activities of Giuliani and his two former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

The three are known to have been engaged in a shadow campaign to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchThe Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment MORE, whose anti-corruption stance they viewed as an obstacle to Trump’s efforts to pressure Kyiv to investigate his political rivals. 

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People familiar with the investigation told the Post that prosecutors recently sought information related to Yovanovitch and inquired about two companies with ties to Parnas. 

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The recent moves to advance the probe, which included an interview with a witness last week, suggest the Giuliani-linked investigation that is also focused on two of the lawyer’s former associates is advancing even as the Justice Department opens a channel for Giuliani to submit information regarding his personal inquiry into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' Democratic strategist says Biden 'has to' get second place in Nevada MORE in Ukraine.

Giuliani has railed against the New York prosecutors’ probe, saying it is pursuing the “most unfair, vindictive investigation they have ever conducted.”

“I believe that the leaks and the investigation is intended to intimidate me as the president’s lawyer,” Giuliani told the Post in December. “I am fully confident that I did not commit any crimes of any kind.” 

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The news that the investigation is proceeding comes as the Justice Department is under intense scrutiny over allegations of political influence from Trump.

Those worries intensified after the agency recommended a sentence shorter than the one it had first proposed for Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Attorney General Barr is in a mess — and has no one to blame but himself Maxine Waters: Gang members have 'more integrity' than 'street player' Trump MORE, a longtime GOP operative and Trump associate. The reversal came after the president slammed the first recommendation as overly harsh on Twitter.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Attorney General Barr is in a mess — and has no one to blame but himself Maxine Waters: Gang members have 'more integrity' than 'street player' Trump MORE said Thursday that Trump never asked him to act in a criminal case, including Stone's, but that tweets about the Department of Justice and its employees “make it impossible to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we are doing our work with integrity.”