A grand jury has been impaneled in the federal investigation into Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

  • Rudy Giuliani’s assistant has been served a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury, per ABC News.
  • The news marks a significant turning point in the ongoing criminal investigation into Giuliani.
  • Giuliani’s apartment and office were also raided on Wednesday, and the feds seized his electronic devices.
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A grand jury has been impaneled in the federal investigation into former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer told ABC News.

The revelation came after The New York Times reported that FBI agents had executed a search warrant on Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and office earlier Wednesday. Giuliani’s electronic devices were seized as was a computer belonging to his longtime assistant, Jo Ann Zafonte. Bob Costello, Giuliani’s lawyer, later told ABC News that the feds also served Zafonte with a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in May.

Executing a search warrant on a lawyer is an extraordinary step that requires approval from a federal magistrate judge, and Wednesday’s developments mark an aggressive turning point in the longrunning criminal investigation into whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws in his dealings with Ukraine.

The Times first reported in 2019 that the Manhattan US attorney’s office was conducting a criminal probe into Giuliani’s business dealings. Specifically, investigators are said to be examining whether he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires that American citizens notify the Justice Department of any contacts they have with foreign governments or officials, and if they interact with the US government or media at the direction of those officials.

Prosecutors zeroed in on Giuliani as part of a broader investigation into two of his Ukrainian business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The two men were arrested in October 2019 on suspicion of trying to funnel foreign money into a pro-Trump super PAC and other entities to gain leverage in US political circles. Prosecutors also alleged that they tried to improperly influence US-Ukraine relations.

CNN reported that investigators from the Manhattan US attorney’s office approached Kevin McCallion, a lawyer in New York, earlier in 2019 to ask about Giuliani’s link to Parnas and Fruman. The investigation into the former New York mayor is also said to include a counterintelligence aspect, which indicates that the FBI may view him as a national security threat.

Giuliani, for his part, spearheaded a months-long, behind-the-scenes effort to influence US policy vis-a-vis Ukraine, an endeavor that ultimately led to then President Donald Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

He was also in contact with several Russian and Ukrainian political operatives as part of a public quest to dig up dirt on then candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, ahead of the 2020 election. Giuliani’s actions were so alarming to US officials that, according to The Washington Post, they warned the White House that Russian intelligence agencies were using Giuliani to funnel disinformation to Trump.

One of Giuliani’s associates, Andriy Derkach, was recently sanctioned by the US and described as an “active Russian agent.” Amid news of Derkach’s sanctioning, Giuliani acknowledged in an interview with The Daily Beast that there was “50/50” chance he’d worked with a Russian spy and shrugged off the matter.

After news of the FBI’s raids broke Wednesday, Giuliani’s attorney described them as “legal thuggery,” adding, “Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States?”

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Giuliani shares that he’s getting the same COVID-19 treatment as Trump, as the US reports 2,622 more coronavirus deaths on Tuesday

Rudy Giuliani Trump
  • Rudy Giuliani, 76, called into his radio show on 77 WABC from his hospital bed at MedStar Georgetown University Medical Center and said he expects to leave on Wednesday.
  • In the interview, Giuliani said he was receiving the same experimental cocktail of drugs that President Donald Trump received in October, and claimed he was not aware of its high cost or lack of availability to the general public.
  • “The minute I took the cocktail,” Giuliani said, “I felt 100% better.” 
  • Giuliani’s comments come as on Tuesday, US states reported 213,498 new cases, and 2,622 deaths, with 104,600 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
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The president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani repeated a host of false claims about COVID-19 on Tuesday and lauded the expensive treatment he has been receiving when he called into his radio show on 77 WABC from his hospital bed at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Giuliani’s hospitalization and interview coincided with an ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US, as states begin to report new cases after the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, on Tuesday, US states reported 213,498 new cases and 2,622 deaths, with 104,600 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

In the interview, Giuliani claimed that COVID-19 was curable and said that people “overdo the mask.” (Masks are touted my health experts as an effective way to stem transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19.) Although vaccines are in process – and approved and being rolled out in the United Kingdom – there is no current cure for COVID-19.

Giuliani also made a series of claims about the treatment he was receiving, claiming it is “exactly the same” as the experimental cocktail of drugs President Donald Trump received when Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 for three days at Walter Reed Hospital in October.

“His doctor sent me here, talked me into it. I didn’t really want to go to the hospital and he said don’t be stupid, we can get it over in three days if we send you to the hospital,” Giuliani told WABC. 

During Trump’s stay at the hospital which started on October 2, Trump received an IV infusion of the antiviral drug Remdesivir, as well as an experimental antibody cocktail not widely available to the public. 

An analysis by Insider found that between the three-day hospital stay, the drugs, and transportation, Trump’s treatment would have cost $650,000 out of pocket. 

“The minute I took the cocktail,” Giuliani said on his show, “I felt 100% better.” 

Giuliani added that he wasn’t aware of the lack of broad availability of his treatment regimen to the public. 

“Sometimes, when you’re a celebrity, they’re worried if something happens to you,” Giuliani added. “They’re going to examine it more carefully and do everything right.”

Giuliani claimed that he expected to be discharged from the hospital Wednesday and that he experienced no major COVID-19 symptoms. On his radio show, he also claimed that he had tested negative before his public and court appearances in three states. 

Giuliani, unmasked, met with several Republican lawmakers in Arizona last week, and this week the state legislature announced it would close both chambers as a precaution.

Giuliani also confirmed to listeners that Jenna Ellis, an attorney working in close quarters with Giuliani on the Trump campaign’s legal efforts, has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Giuliani’s comments come as new nationwide data released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday showed hospital capacity and bed use at a hospital-by-hospital level across 2,200 US counties for the first time throughout the pandemic.

According to data analysis by the COVID Hospitalization Project, in 126 counties across the country, the average hospital is at least 90% occupied, with hospitals in Kentucky, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas feeling the most strain.

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