Giuliani says evidence seized during FBI raid will prove him 'innocent'

New York (AFP) –


Rudy Giuliani, the ex-personal lawyer of Donald Trump, said Thursday the evidence collected during an FBI raid on his home as part of a probe into his dealings in Ukraine would prove him and the former president "innocent," slamming the government's investigation.

The former New York mayor told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that the electronic devices seized at his Manhattan residence and a separate office Wednesday would show he did not violate federal law while helping Trump look for dirt on political rival Joe Biden in Ukraine in 2019.

"The evidence is exculpatory. It proves the president and I and all of us are innocent," Giuliani said of the Ukraine dealings, for which the former president was later impeached.

Giuliani further accused the Justice Department of serving an "illegal warrant" and said it had "spied" on him by accessing privileged attorney-client information through the cloud, "blatantly violating my constitutional rights."

"This is tactics only known in a dictatorship," he said.

And Trump also complained earlier Thursday that the raid was "so unfair."

Under Trump's turbulent presidency, he frequently accused US government institutions of playing political favorites but also used the power of his office to try to bend them to his will.

"Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot. He just loves this country, and they raid his apartment," Trump told Fox Business.

"It's very, very unfair."

Giuliani's son Andrew Giuliani condemned the raid and accused the Justice Department of a political agenda.

But Biden defended the integrity of the investigation, telling NBC he had not even been warned a warrant had been obtained.

"I made a pledge I would not interfere in any way, order or try to stop any investigation the Justice Department had... I had no idea this was underway," he said.

- Giuliani legal woes -

Giuliani, once a top New York prosecutor before becoming a celebrated mayor of the city, was a personal lawyer for Trump when the president was impeached in December 2019 for seeking political help from Ukraine.

Giuliani spent months trying to help Trump find dirt in Ukraine on election rival Joe Biden and Biden's son Hunter during 2018-2020.

But the investigation behind Wednesday's raid could be honing in on Giuliani doing paid work for Ukrainian businessmen at the same time, violating US laws against unregistered lobbying for foreign entities, which Giuliani denies.

Two Ukrainian-born men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped Giuliani in those efforts, were arrested in October 2019 and charged with illegally funneling large donations to a pro-Trump fundraising committee.

According to reports, the FBI and the Justice Department's prosecutor in New York had sought search warrants for Giuliani's phones last year, but were denied that while Trump remained in office, until January 20.

The FBI and Justice Department have declined to comment on the raids or the investigation.

Giuliani has other legal woes too. In January he was sued by a voting machine maker for $1.3 billion for spreading claims after the November presidential election that its machines were part of alleged massive voting fraud that caused Trump's loss.

No significant fraud has been demonstrated in the election.