Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is not above the regulation, prosecutors say
Rudolph Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, holds a press conference on Thursday, November 19, 2020, in the Republican National Committee on lawsuits related to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Tom Williams | CQ Appeal, Inc. | Getty Images
The federal prosecutor said in a new trial 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 is “.
The filing pushed on efforts by Giuliani’s own attorneys to challenge the legality of search warrants on his iCloud account in 2019 and on the former New York mayor’s home in Manhattan last month, issued as part of an ongoing criminal investigation have been its activities in and related to Ukraine.
Eighteen electronic devices belonging to Giuliani and Giuliani Partners employees were seized under these arrest warrants in late April.
Giuliani’s attorneys argue that finding his iCloud – which Giuliani had not known for about 18 months – may have violated both his legal privilege 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 also been the subject of similar search warrants.
“The warrants authorizing the search of these devices were issued by a United States 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.” The US attorney’s office for the southern borough of New York wrote in their filing in federal court in Manhattan on Friday.
Prosecutors said that 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 this end, prosecutors said they “went beyond these obligations” by asking a judge to appoint a so-called special master to review the recently seized materials for potentially privileged material, which will then be kept away from senior investigators the criminal investigation of Giuliani.
Prosecutors said a so-called filter team had served the purpose to review 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 legitimately issued search warrant into subpoena 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.
The prosecution argued in the filing that a judge should reject requests by Giuliani and Toensing to unseal the affidavits submitted 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 remarked: “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 wrote.
Giuliani played a key role in attempting to gather harmful information about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in connection with Hunter Biden’s business relationships in Ukraine. At the time, Biden was preparing to run for president and was widely viewed as Trump’s most viable Democratic challenger.