FBI agents executed search warrants at Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan apartment and his office to seize electronic devices Wednesday, multiple sources familiar with the matter said.
The searches are a sign that prosecutors are ramping up their investigation into Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's attorney.
Federal prosecutors had what they needed to seek a search warrant late last year, and it was just "a matter of timing," a source familiar with the investigation said, a comment that suggests that the Justice Department might have wanted to wait until the administration changed hands.
In addition, the FBI executed a search warrant at the Washington-area residence of lawyer Victoria Toensing in connection with the Giuliani investigation, a source familiar with the matter said.
The New York Times first reported the news. Giuliani did not respond to a text message from NBC News.
Giuliani teased in a tweet that he would make a statement during his weekday WABC radio program at 3 p.m. ET. But his program did not air Wednesday, replaced instead by pre-coverage of a New York City Democratic mayoral debate.
His attorney, Robert Costello, said in a statement that the search warrants "involve only one indication of an alleged incident of failure to register as a foreign agent," which he said Giuliani "has not only denied" but "offered twice in the past two years through his attorney ... to demonstrate that it is entirely untrue."
Costello added the electronics seized by federal investigators are "replete with material covered by the attorney client privilege and other constitutional privileges."
"Twice, Mr. Giuliani’s counsel offered to sit with the SDNY and demonstrate that Mr. Giuliani’s conduct was lawful," Costello said, adding, "Mr. Giuliani respects the law, and he can demonstrate that his conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical."
Meanwhile, Toensing's law firm said in a statement that the attorney "has always conducted herself and her law practice according to the highest legal and ethical standards."
"She would have been happy to turn over any relevant documents," the statement continued. "All they had to do was ask. Ms. Toensing was informed that she is NOT a target of the investigation."
Federal investigators have been looking into Giuliani's dealings with Ukrainian officials. In December, federal prosecutors discussed whether to make a legal request for Giuliani's electronic communications. Prosecutors for the Southern District of New York were in contact with Justice Department officials in Washington about gaining access to his emails.
In October 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that New York prosecutors were reviewing Giuliani's bank records as part of an investigation into his dealings in Ukraine.
Giuliani was a key figure in the events that led to Trump's first impeachment, relying on Ukrainian officials and members of their parliament to try to dig up dirt about Joe Biden as he ran for president.
Democrats said there was overwhelming evidence that Trump had abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations into Biden and his son Hunter while withholding almost $400 million in aid. They also said Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents related to his actions.
This is a developing story and will be updated.