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Federal search warrant on Giuliani sought contacts with Ukrainian officials: report

Federal search warrant on Giuliani sought contacts with Ukrainian officials: report
© Greg Nash

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan were reportedly searching for evidence related to the firing of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchGiuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Former Ukrainian prosecutor says he was fired for not investigating Hunter Biden: report MORE when they executed search warrants this week at Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe wild card that might save Democrats in the midterms Court sets Smartmatic dismissal date on Giuliani, Bartiromo, others Ukraine sanctions two businessmen tied to Giuliani MORE's New York City apartment and office.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday citing people familiar with the matter that federal investigators want to examine Giuliani's communications with former Ukrainian officials, as the former personal attorney to then-President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE faces allegations that he broke lobbying laws.

According to the report, the warrants sought Giuliani's communications with or related to associates who pushed for Yovanavitch to be fired in the spring of 2019. Ukrainian officials were often at odds with the ambassador, prompting concerns they lobbied for her ouster.

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Former Ukrainian prosecutors general Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko, former Ukrainian prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko were reportedly named in the warrants.

Giuliani has repeatedly denied that he was paid by or working with Ukrainian officials, and the former New York City mayor's lawyer, Robert J. Costello, decried the execution of the search warrants this week.

“Twice, Mr. Giuliani’s counsel offered to sit with [federal attorneys for the Southern District of New York] and demonstrate that Mr. Giuliani’s conduct was lawful. It is outrageous that the Trump Derangement Syndrome has gone so far that hatred has driven this unjustified and unethical attack on the United States Attorney and Mayor who did more to reduce crime than virtually any other in American history,” Costello said in a statement.

"It's like so unfair and ... it's like a double standard like I don't think anybody's ever seen before," former President Trump said about the search. "It's very, very unfair. Rudy is a patriot who loves this country." 

The New York Times previously reported that Yovanovitch has been a primary focus in the federal probe.

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The Journal reported earlier this week that federal authorities entered Giuliani's apartment on Wednesday morning seeking communications between the former New York City mayor and a number of people, including John Solomon, a former opinion columnist for The Hill.

Solomon wrote several columns regarding Ukraine that became a subject of the 2019 House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry against Trump. The Hill published a review of Solomon’s columns the following year and determined they lacked context and key disclosures.

Because prosecutors are only able to secure a warrant if they can convince a judge it will produce evidence of a crime, the search this week signals prosecutors believe there is a strong case against Giuliani.