Giuliani Raid Materials Will Get Outside Review, Judge Rules

Evidence seized by the FBI in its April 28 raids of Rudy Giuliani’s home and office will be reviewed by an independent special master to determine whether any of it should be withheld from prosecutors under attorney-client privilege, a federal judge in New York ruled.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken denied a request by the former New York mayor and personal lawyer to former President Donald Trump for the return of seized materials on privilege grounds. Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, another lawyer who was searched on April 28, asked that they be allowed to review their own material to determine what’s relevant to prosecutors.

Oetken said the searches were justified, based on warrants issued in response to detailed affidavits indicating “evidence of violations of specified federal offenses would be found.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized 18 electronic devices from Giuliani, who is being investigated by Manhattan federal prosecutors for allegedly lobbying the U.S. government on behalf of undisclosed foreign interests. Giuliani was heavily engaged in efforts to dig up political dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine ahead of the 2020 election.

Giuliani has denied working for anyone in that country and said he was solely representing Trump. Toensing, who is close to Trump and worked with Giuliani to support his re-election, has said through lawyers that she was told she was not a subject of the investigation.

“We knew that a Special Master was inevitable, which is why we did not oppose it, so this ruling comes as no surprise to us,” Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello said Friday.

Oetken set a June 4 deadline for prosecutors and defense lawyers to submit potential candidates to serve as the special master. Michael Cohen, another Trump lawyer who was subject to FBI raids in 2018, had a retired federal judge appointed as special master in his case.

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