Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is unlikely to face charges over his dealings in Ukraine ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to a report.
Giuliani, who most recently served as former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been under investigation by FBI prosecutors in Manhattan for nearly two years for his role in pressuring Ukrainian officials to produce material compromising Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. .
Among prosecutors’ concerns was that Mr. Giuliani may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to disclose the nature of the work he did with Ukrainian officials. Investigators seized Mr Giuliani’s electronic devices in April last year as part of the investigation, which is now apparently set to be closed without charges.
Mr. Giuliani said he met with investigators in February and returned his electronic devices to them, saying they had a “very good conversation” that lasted about four hours.
Now, Mr. Giuliani said NBC Newsseems to be in an increasingly promising position. The New York Times initially said he was unlikely to face charges.
“If I were representing someone else, I would tell my client to be cautiously optimistic,” Giuliani said. “Those are good signs, but to quote Yogi Berra – it ain’t over till it’s over.”
Asked about the prospect of a final clearance, Mr. Giuliani told the news organization: “I’m happy about it.”
It has been a whirlwind four years for Mr. Giuliani, who emerged early on as a top confidante of fellow New Yorker Donald Trump. Giuliani supported Trump throughout his 2016 campaign, speaking on his behalf at the Republican National Convention and joining Trump’s White House team first as a cybersecurity adviser and then as a member of his legal team.
Giuliani then became heavily involved in the Trump team’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into revealing damaging information about Biden as his showdown with Trump in the 2020 election approached.
The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani had close ties to Dmitry Firtas, a Ukrainian oligarch indicted in the United States, and stayed in a five-star hotel and took a private flight on behalf of his company.
Federal investigators were also particularly interested in whether Mr. Guiliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration to fire its ambassador to the country, Marie Yovanovitch, on behalf of then-Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, Yury Lutchenko. Ms. Yovanovitch was finally recalled in April 2019, around the time some Trump officials wanted Lutchenko to open an investigation into Biden’s connection to the Ukrainian energy company that brought his son on board.
But the electronic documents seized by investigators reportedly did not turn up any significant new evidence, making it unlikely that Mr. Giuliani would be prosecuted at this time, even though the investigation remains open.
Even if Mr. Giuliani avoids prosecution over his ties to Ukraine, he still has a number of legal difficulties to contend with. In recent weeks, congressional and prosecutorial scrutiny of Mr. Giuliani’s role in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol has increased.
Prosecutors are looking into Mr Giuliani’s role in a scheme to form alternative electors loyal to Trump, while the House Select Committee on the January 6 uprising also met with him.