Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has broken the silence on the recent raid on his New York home by FBI investigators. The search warrant executed on Wednesday, first reported by the New York Times, related to a probe reviewing whether he had broken lobbying laws while serving as a part of the previous administration.
"I looked at the warrant, and I said, 'You know, this is extraordinary because I offered to give these to the government and talk it over with them for two years'," said Giuliani as he appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Seven FBI agents with a search warrant had woken up the former New York City mayor at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, he said in the interview.
Police are entering Rudy Giuliani's building. pic.twitter.com/eADllUSXBU— The Recount (@therecount) April 28, 2021
Spending around two hours on the premises, the "somewhat apologetic" agents reportedly seized several electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones.
Referring to the search warrant that was presented, he told the host:
"The warrant is on one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented. I never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government. I've declined it several times."
Giuliani particularly emphasised the fact that the FBI had shown no interest in the copy of the hard drive from a laptop allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, which technically, should “fall within the scope of the subpoena".
"I said, 'Well, don't you want these?' And they said, 'What are they? I said, 'Those are Hunter Biden's hard drives. And they said 'no, no, no".
According to Giuliani, as he persistently urged the agents to take the hard drives, they got visibly "perturbed".
Rudy Giuliani expressed puzzlement over the way the agents seemed to take him at his word regarding the hard drives.
“I mean, they could have been Donald Trump's. They could have been Vladimir Putin's. They could have been anybody's. But they relied on me, the man who had to be raided in the morning, because -- I'm going to destroy the evidence? I've known about this for two years, Tucker," he fumed.
As Giuliani slammed the Biden Justice Department for concocting the allegations against him instead of probing Hunter Biden's "dozen or more violations of FARA that is spelled out completely," he added:
"I could have destroyed the evidence. The evidence is exculpatory. It proves the president and I and all of us are innocent. They are the ones who are committing -- it's like projection. They are committing the crimes."
Giuliani, who joined President Donald Trump's personal legal team in 2018, told the host that he hoped whoever ordered the raid will "be investigated for blatantly violating my constitutional rights".
"This is tactics only known in a dictatorship where you see a lawyer's records right in the middle of his representation of his client. You should be prosecuted and disbarred for that. They're a disgrace to a great department.”
The Thursday television interview by New York’s former mayor was his first since the raid by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on his New York City apartment on 28 April, as well as his Park Avenue office, according to the New York Times. The outlet added that several electronic devices belonging to the 76-year-old were seized.
Federal authorities are investigating whether Giuliani violated the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) by not reporting his alleged activities on behalf of Ukraine to the Justice Department. In response to the allegations, Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing, branding the investigation "pure political persecution".
Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello, decried the searches as "legal thuggery".
‘Politicization of Justice Department’
Andrew Giuliani, the former NYC mayor’s son, in a statement outside his father's apartment denounced the raid as "disgusting", and deplored the "continued politicisation of the Justice Department".
He reiterated the fact that federal authorities were better off concentrating efforts on investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter over his past business activities in Ukraine.
Rudy's son Andrew Giuliani: "Any American, whether you are red or blue, should be extremely disturbed by what happened here today, by the continued politititation [sic] of the Justice Department." pic.twitter.com/W2llUUFNZG— The Recount (@therecount) April 28, 2021
Hunter Biden’s alleged “laptop from hell” was at the heart of a scandal surrounding the Democratic President’s son and his controversial business deals in Ukraine while his father was overseeing Washington’s relations with Kiev during Barack Obama’s White House tenure.
Hunter Biden is believed to have abandoned his laptop in a Delaware repair shop in April 2019. The owner reportedly handed over the hard drive from the laptop to the FBI, with a copy sent to Trump’s attorney Giuliani.
The controversial information on the hard drive purportedly suggested Biden had played a role in his son’s business deals in Ukraine and China despite his previous denial.
If true, this would have constituted a conflict of interest and possible manifestation of corruption in the Obama administration.
The laptop was reportedly subpoenaed by the FBI and reviewed as a part of an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax affairs and financial transactions abroad.