Federal agents searched Rudy Giuliani’s office and home on April 28th as part of the Justice Department’s two-year investigation into whether he engaged in illegal lobbying in Ukraine. Now a federal judge has approved a request to appoint an independent lawyer to review the electronic devices seized during that search.
Since Giuliani served as a private lawyer for Donald Trump, Federal prosecutors sought a “special master” to sort through the material on the 18 devices in order to set aside information that could be considered protected by the attorney-client privilege.
District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York granted the request on Friday, saying the appointment of a “special master” is required to “ensure the perception of fairness.” He ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to submit a list of potential candidates within the week, setting a deadline for next Friday, June 4th.
Giuliani has yet to face charges on the allegations and has denied any wrongdoing. Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said the search warrant sought correspondence between his client and multiple individuals, including John Solomon, a columnist who had been in communication with him about his efforts to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden.
Did Giuliani destroy evidence, after Bill Barr told Trump he has blocked Giuliani's office raid in summer of 2020. Yes, no doubt Rudy did. But that actually makes THINGS WORSE for the notorious serial butt-dialer and alleged attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Short thread / Special Master pic.twitter.com/kmMVon4BNJ
— Tomi T Ahonen (@tomiahonen) May 28, 2021
The centerpiece of Trump’s first impeachment trial was Trump and Giuliani’s push for the investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. He was acquitted, but witnesses testified that the Trump administration threatened to withhold millions in promised military aid if the country didn’t announce a probe into the Bidens.
Appointing a special master in the Giuliani case is a prudent move by Judge Paul Oetken, who is a careful judge. A special master (former judge Barbara Jones) was also appointed in the Michael Cohen case to review sensitive, possibly privileged documents. https://t.co/ytqQ2CGdJk
— David Lat (@DavidLat) May 29, 2021