Trump allies worried about raid on Giuliani as new transcript reveals he is pressuring Ukrainian officials
Donald Trump’s allies are deeply concerned about Wednesday’s raid on his attorney Rudy Giuliani’s apartment, it is said.
Their fears emerged as a transcription of a conversation between Giuliani and a Ukrainian official was published, exposing what appears to be the content of the FBI’s investigation into the former mayor of New York City.
Giuliani’s Manhattan home was the target of a sunrise raid orchestrated by New York prosecutors who have been investigating for the past two years whether Giuliani was acting illegally while working on Ukraine.
The work investigated whether Joe Biden had acted inappropriately by pressuring the then President of Ukraine to fire their chief prosecutor. He was also looking for “dirt” on Joe’s son Hunter.
A transcript of his July 2019 call, which appeared to be the start of the investigation, was published by BuzzFeed on Friday.
Rudy Giuliani, speaking at the Capitol riot rally on Jan. 6, was raided his home
Trump ordered Giuliani to search for ‘dirt’ on Hunter and Joe Biden in Ukraine
Giuliani’s own actions may violate lobbying and registration rules. He insists that he has acted correctly at all times.
On Friday CNN reported that members of Trump’s inner circle were concerned about who might be next – or what Giuliani might say.
“This was a display of power that sent a strong message to many people in the Trump world that there are other things to come,” a Trump adviser told CNN.
Seven FBI agents showed up at dawn and seized Giuliani’s electronic devices.
Rudy Giuliani’s Upper East Side house was raided at 6am on Wednesday
Rudy Giuliani’s apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side
Federal investigators carried out a search warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office in New York City on Wednesday, seizing electronic devices. Giuliani is photographed after the raid on his house
He said Thursday night that the attack was overly dramatic and unnecessary, as he had repeatedly volunteered to hand over the devices himself.
Michael Cohen: Giuliani is an ‘idiot’ who will turn Trump on – and Trump won’t hesitate to ‘throw him under the bus’
Michael Cohen has said Rudy Giuliani would “ give up Donald Trump in an instant ” after federal agents raided the home and office of the former New York City mayor.
Speak against CNN On Thursday, Trump called former fixer Giuliani an “idiot” who has “no relationship” with the ex-president, who he says operates in a “garbage can job.”
Federal agents raided the 76-year-old’s apartment on Wednesday, taking his electronic devices, including computers and cell phones.
After news of the raid broke Wednesday, Cohen – who was also the subject of a federal raid and was ultimately guilty of eight federal counts – tweeted, “Here we go folks.”
He said on Thursday: ‘He is [Giuliani] nervous and rightly so. Rudy will give up Donald in an instant. Donald throws everyone under the bus.
Rudy’s been seedy for a long time.
‘We have no idea how extensive this investigation will ultimately be, because Rudy is an idiot. And that’s the problem.
Rudy drinks too much. Rudy is acting so erratic that, who knows what’s on those phones or what’s on their computers? ‘
Cohen was convicted in 2018 of campaign finance violations while working as Trump’s personal attorney – he was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of nine charges.
Less than a year after his conviction, Cohen was released from Otisville Jail on compassionate grounds amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He has been stuck in his Trump Park Avenue apartment in Lenox Hill since July 2020.
The Trump adviser told CNN that the raid seemed alarming to many to suggest that Justice Department officials might be more willing to investigate his presidency than they previously thought.
Two other members of Trump’s inner circle told CNN they agreed with that assessment.
They also expressed concern about what Giuliani might say or do.
“Even the most loyal of people have their breaking point,” said one person close to the former president.
“I think we’ve seen even more surprising examples of that sort of thing, especially with Michael Cohen.”
Cohen, who was Trump’s long-time “ fixer ” and attorney, began teaming up with prosecutors in 2018, was in prison and has become one of Trump’s harshest critics.
Cohen told CNN on Wednesday that he believed Giuliani would “ give up Donald in the blink of an eye ” if faced with a charge.
“Before Donald became president, Rudy didn’t like Donald and Donald didn’t like Rudy,” Cohen claimed. “He certainly doesn’t want to follow my path to 36 months in prison.”
Concern among Trump’s confidants comes when the transcript of the July 2019 call between Giuliani and a Ukrainian official was made public.
The call is between Giuliani and Andriy Yermak, who was President Volodymyr Zelensky’s new top foreign policy adviser at the time. Yermak is now Zelensky’s Chief of Staff.
Giuliani tries to establish a working relationship between Kiev and Washington DC during the call – bypassing the usual State Department channels to speak directly on behalf of Trump, although he makes an effort to emphasize that he cannot speak on behalf of his boss.
In particular, he stresses that the new president should investigate Biden, who, while serving as vice president, had pushed for the resignation of the country’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin.
Shokin, who was seen with suspicion in the West, was fired in March 2016 as part of an anti-corruption initiative developed by the State Department and coordinated with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Giuliani seeks an investigation and wants Zelensky to publicly accuse Biden.
He also wants Ukraine to investigate possible interference in the election and support the idea that Ukraine – not Russia – could have tried to tip the scales in Trump’s favor.
“ All we need from the president is to say I’m going to put an honest prosecutor in charge, he’s going to investigate and dig up the evidence that currently exists and there is any other evidence of involvement in the 2016 election, ” said Giuliani . Yermak.
“And then the Biden thing has to run out.”
Volodymyr Zelensky took over as President of Ukraine in May 2019
Zelensky is pictured on April 26, speaking on the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident
Giuliani says, “He offered Poroshenko a $ 1.2 billion loan guarantee, which is crucial to Poroshenko’s success as president, in exchange for getting rid of an attorney general he did not want to get rid of.
“Someone in Ukraine has to take that seriously.”
Trump is pictured on the CPAC in February
Giuliani then turns to Hunter Biden’s energy company, Burisma.
As part of a campaign to discredit and accuse Joe Biden of influencing him, Giuliani was keen to learn more about Hunter’s work on the company’s board of directors.
“That investigation into Burisma has been launched, halted, launched and discontinued about three times,” Giuliani complained.
He also gave the new president a bizarre warning through his assistant: “What I wanted to tell the president is: be careful.
“It’s probably a bit arrogant to say that. I shouldn’t say that about being careful.
“But just like an interested person, beware of those around you because … they can very easily … they can get you in trouble very easily.”
He did not give more details.
However, he said he was concerned that some of the people around Zelensky weren’t Trump supporters.
“I’m not speaking on behalf of the president, I’m speaking as his friend,” Giuliani said.
“ To see people around him (Zelensky) who are not only against the president (Trump), but also say very, very personal nasty things about him (Trump) is … that’s trouble. ”
Trump and Giuliani, two New Yorkers who have known each other for decades, in August 2020
He concluded, “That’s getting quite personal and it disrupts a really good … really good relationship.”
Giuliani then returns twice to the idea that Trump would like Zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into Biden’s activities.
“I think it would be very, very helpful to fix this, if at some point the president (Zelensky) could say something in public,” Giuliani said.
‘If he could make a statement at the right time. That he supports a fair, fair law enforcement system.
“And that these investigations go wherever they need to go.”
Giuliani’s latest revelations come a day after sources told The New York Times that the probe is investigating the resignation of former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
The newspaper was told the FBI is investigating whether Giuliani induced then-President Donald Trump to fire Yovanovitch to please Ukrainian officials.
She is said to have caused ripples with her harsh stance on eradicating Ukrainian corruption.
The Times stressed that if Giuliani orchestrated her resignation to please Ukrainian officials, he may have violated US laws about lobbying foreign officials.
In Trump’s initial impeachment, he was accused of trying to persuade Ukrainian officials to give him embarrassing details about Joe and Hunter Biden.
Giuliani has denied all allegations of inappropriateness.