Rudy Giuliani isn’t "above the legislation" or resistant to felony investigations regardless of serving as Trump legal professional, the Fed says
Rudolph Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, will hold a press conference on Thursday, November 19, 2020, in the Republican National Committee on lawsuits related to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
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Federal prosecutors said in a court case on Friday that "the mere fact" that Rudy Giuliani is a lawyer – one who represented former President Donald Trump – does not mean that he is "above the law or immune to criminal investigation ".
The filing pushed back efforts by Giuliani's attorneys to attack the legality of search warrants on his iCloud account in 2019 and on his Manhattan home and office last month, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into his activities in and related to the Ukraine were issued.
Eighteen electronic devices belonging to the former Mayor of New York and Giuliani Partners employees were seized under these arrest warrants in late April.
Giuliani's lawyers argue that finding his iCloud – which Giuliani hadn't known about for about 18 months – may have violated his legal and client rights, and Trump's right as president to protect his communications with his attorney.
And they say recent search warrants may be compromised by their reliance on information from iCloud search.
Another well-known Republican attorney, Victoria Toensing, has been the subject of similar search warrants.
"The warrants authorizing the search of these devices were issued by a US district judge – this court – on the basis of a finding that there was likely reason to believe that these devices contained evidence, fruits, and instruments of certain federal crimes," so the US attorney's office for the southern borough of New York wrote in their new filing with the Manhattan federal court.
Prosecutors said searching for devices and electronic accounts owned by lawyers like Giuliani and Toensing "requires special care to protect the confidentiality of attorney-client communications that may appear in search materials."
To that end, prosecutors said they had "gone beyond these obligations" by asking a judge to appoint a so-called special master to examine the recently seized materials for potentially privileged material, which was then reviewed by investigators who direct the material, Criminal investigation of Giuliani would be kept away.
Prosecutors said a so-called filter team had served the purpose of reviewing the 2019 arrest warrants for his and Toensing's iCloud accounts.
"But to be clear, the mere fact that Giuliani and Toensing are attorneys does not mean that they are above the law or immune from criminal investigations," the prosecutor wrote.
"But that is exactly what Giuliani and Toensing argue in their motions: because they are lawyers, the enforcement of search warrants against them has been illegal and inappropriate, and as such they are entitled to the extraordinary and unprecedented means of converting a lawfully issued search warrants into subpoenas so they can review their own materials and decide what the government will see. That is not the law and their applications should otherwise be denied, "the file said.
Prosecutors argued in the filing that a judge should reject motions by Giuliani and Toensing to unseal the affidavits filed in order to obtain the arrest warrants.
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Giuliani's attorney Arthur Aidala pushed back against prosecution filing.
"According to the government, they are alluding to the fact that Mr Giuliani argues that he is above the law," Aidala wrote in a text message to CNBC.
"Nobody says Mayor Giuliani is above the law," Aidala wrote.
"However, the government has a duty to follow the specific procedures that must be followed when examining material obtained from a lawyer using a search warrant rather than issuing a subpoena."
Aidala added: "Every lawyer has a legal and client right that he must protect on behalf of his clients."
"That privilege is doubled when the attorney's client is the President of the United States, who also has executive privilege," Aidala said.
Giuliani played a key role in attempting to gather harmful information about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in connection with their business dealings in Ukraine. At the time, Biden was preparing to run for president and was widely viewed as Trump's most viable Democratic challenger.