Federal prosecutors investigating Rudy Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine have closed their investigation after more than two years and have said no criminal charges will be brought.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are investigating Giuliani, the former personal attorney for former President Donald Trump, for possible violations of foreign lobbying laws since early 2019.
On Monday, they informed an investigating judge that they were closing the case.
The notification came amid a court filing with prosecutors asking the judge to fire the special master who was appointed to oversee the review of documents obtained when the FBI executed a search warrant at the former New York City mayor’s home. in April 2021.
“The government is writing to advise the Court that the grand jury investigation that led to the issuance of the aforementioned warrants has been completed and that, based on the information currently available to the government, criminal charges are not forthcoming” , wrote the prosecutors.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
“This is wonderful and long-awaited news,” said Giuliani attorney Robert Costello. “Unfortunately Mayor Giuliani had to spend two and a half to three years with this cloud over his head.”
The end of the investigation also closes a chapter in the Trump administration that implicated two South Florida businessmen, shadow diplomacy efforts including a plot to oust the US ambassador to Ukraine and a trial in dismissal of the former president.
Prosecutors had investigated whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws by operating on behalf of Ukrainian officials when he called for the ouster of then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, while urging Ukraine to investigate Trump’s 2020 political rival, then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. , and his son Hunter.
US law requires anyone lobbying on behalf of a government or foreign official to register and failure to do so is a violation.
Giuliani had claimed that his activities in Ukraine had been carried out in his capacity as a lawyer for Trump and that he had “never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the government of the United States”.
In April 2021, federal agents executed search warrants at Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and Park Avenue office, seizing 18 electronic devices. Prosecutors also revealed that they secretly searched Giuliani’s iCloud account in 2019. Earlier this year, he met with prosecutors and provided passwords for some of the locked devices.
The go-ahead for search warrants — particularly against a former president’s personal attorney — was one of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s first high-profile moves early in the Biden administration.
Giuliani’s role as an attorney for the then-president and his involvement with Ukrainian officials added complexity to the investigation, people familiar with the matter told CNN. It was unclear whether Giuliani had received compensation from the Ukrainians and he was publicly bragging about his efforts, which could make it harder for prosecutors to prove he secretly lobbied for foreign actors.
Two South Florida businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, helped introduce Giuliani to Ukrainians and translated for him on trips. Once considered potential witnesses in the government case, they got caught up in their own fundraising and voter fraud scheme and were both found guilty or pleaded guilty.
The decision to close the investigation also shows the challenges the Justice Department has faced when trying to enforce foreign lobbying laws, an area of heightened scrutiny due to potential national security risks. .
Earlier this month, Trump ally Tom Barrack and his former aide were acquitted of acting as undisclosed foreign agents for the United Arab Emirates.
The New York investigation isn’t the only legal threat Giuliani faces. His actions to overturn the 2020 election results to favor Trump have drawn scrutiny and potentially costly fines or settlements. Dominion Voting Systems has filed a billion-dollar defamation lawsuit against Giuliani for his unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations.
Giuliani was told he was the target of the criminal investigation by the Fulton County, Georgia Special Grand Jury investigating Trump’s efforts to sway the election in his favor. He appeared before the grand jury in August.
Federal prosecutors are also conducting a broad investigation into efforts to interfere with the transfer of power from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.
This story has been updated with additional details.
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