Rudy Giuliani will not face criminal charges in a grand jury investigation into whether he violated U.S. lobbying laws in his dealings with Ukraine, prosecutors said Monday.
Federal investigators in April 2021 seized electronic devices belonging to Giuliani, who was accused of trying to dig up dirt about the Bidens in Ukraine to benefit former President Donald Trump, in part to see whether they contained any evidence showing efforts to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and whether he ran afoul of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
In a court filing Monday, prosecutors for the U.S. attorney for Southern New York told U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken that “the grand jury investigation that led to the issuance of the above-referenced warrants has concluded, and that based on information currently available to the Government, criminal charges are not forthcoming.”
Federal investigators had been looking into Giuliani’s dealings with Ukrainian officials. While he was acting as Trump's lawyer, Giuliani had numerous interactions with Ukrainian officials in a bid to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the run-up to Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.
Giuliani's actions became a focus of Trump's first impeachment trial after the Democratic-controlled House impeached Trump, saying he had abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations into the Bidens while withholding almost $400 million in aid. The House also alleged that Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to release any documents related to his actions.
Trump was acquitted of both charges in the Senate.
Robert Costello, Giuliani’s attorney, said he and his client are pleased that the formal decision not to bring charges in that investigation is now public.
“We received a copy of the letter that the Government filed in court today, and we are obviously pleased with the outcome,” Costello said Monday. “It does not come as a surprise to me.”
He added that almost three years ago he offered to have Giuliani answer questions in the probe if investigators informed them of the subject matter beforehand.
But it wasn't until February of this year that the two sides agreed, Costello said, and “we answered all their questions.”
In 2021, when the search warrants were executed, Costello said they involved “only one indication of an alleged incident of failure to register as a foreign agent” and denied that Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, had done anything wrong. “Mr. Giuliani respects the law, and he can demonstrate that his conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical,” he said at the time.
Costello, a former U.S. attorney in the office Giuliani once led, said Monday that it was unusual for prosecutors to release letters like the court filing revealing no charges against Giuliani.
“We appreciate the gesture. We think it is the right thing to do,” he said.
The letter did have an alternate purpose, however. Prosecutors said the lack of charges mean they no longer need the services of retired U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, who had been appointed special master in the case to review seized documents for attorney-client issues.
The timing was fortuitous for Jones — on Monday, a state judge appointed her to be the independent monitor in the New York attorney general's lawsuit against the Trump Organization.
Jones, whom both sides had recommended as a monitor, will oversee the company's financial transactions. The judge presiding over that case, state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, said a decision outlining her specific "duties, powers and fees will be "forthcoming shortly."