Giuliani raids signal accountability is coming for the Trump era

By | May 3, 2021

Norman Eisen writes:

Former President Donald Trump and his cronies should beware. The search warrants executed against Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, mark a leap forward in the Department of Justice’s look into the past four years of potential illegalities. It signals turbulent waters ahead for Giuliani and his former client alike.

These warrants are not easy to get. You need to convince a judge there is probable cause of wrongdoing. The warrant must also pass tough review at the highest levels of the DOJ. That these warrants survived this double scrutiny is itself a sign of serious trouble for the former New York mayor. It is particularly unusual for prosecutors to execute a warrant against a lawyer (the most recent notable example is someone else who served as Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen). That’s further indication of the depths of Giuliani’s jeopardy.

From what is public so far, including an acknowledgment from Giuliani himself, federal investigators are looking into whether he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by acting as an unregistered foreign agent for his Ukrainian “sources.” The evidence I helped present as counsel in the first Trump impeachment showed Giuliani was advancing the agenda of those in Ukraine trying to oust U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch — a staunch corruption fighter who was eventually pushed out.

In recent years, FARA has been more strongly enforced in the aftermath of the cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. The Giuliani investigation is accelerating now that Trump and his DOJ allies are out of office. It would be unusual to conduct raids of this kind if prosecutors were not considering charging Giuliani under FARA.

Does his potential exposure stop there? In the past week, I have often been asked whether FARA could really be all the government was looking at. The truth is, making predictions about what else Giuliani could be charged with is difficult to do at this stage. Even the prosecutors themselves may still be contending with that question. [Continue reading…]

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