Federal investigators in the US have executed a search warrant at Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan residence, a law enforcement official has told the Associated Press.
The former New York City mayor has been under investigation for several years over his business dealings in Ukraine.
Details of the reasons for the search were not immediately available, but it comes as the Justice Department continues its investigation into the staunch Trump ally.
News of the search was first reported by The New York Times.
The federal probe into Mr Giuliani’s overseas and business dealings stalled last year because of a dispute over investigative tactics as Donald Trump unsuccessfully sought re-election, and amid Mr Giuliani’s prominent role in subsequently disputing the results of the contest on Mr Trump’s behalf.
The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but it at least partly involves the Ukraine dealings, law enforcement officials have told AP.
In a statement released through his lawyer, Mr Giuliani accused federal authorities of a “corrupt double standard,” invoking allegations he has pushed against prominent Democrats, and said that the Justice Department was “running rough shod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J Trump”.
“Mr Giuliani respects the law, and he can demonstrate that his conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical,” the statement said.
A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The US Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI’s New York office declined to comment.
The federal probe into Mr Giuliani’s Ukraine dealings stalled last year because of a dispute over investigative tactics as Mr Trump unsuccessfully sought a second term.
Mr Giuliani subsequently took on a leading role in disputing the election results on the Republican’s behalf.
Wednesday’s raids came months after Mr Trump left office and lost his ability to pardon allies for federal crimes. The former president himself no longer enjoys the legal protections the Oval Office once provided him — though there is no indication Mr Trump is eyed in this probe.
Many people in Mr Trump’s orbit have previously been ensnared in federal investigations, namely special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election interference. But most of those criminal cases either fizzled or fell apart. Mr Giuliani’s is different.
Mr Giuliani was central to the then-president’s efforts to dig up dirt against Democratic rival Joe Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Mr Biden and his son, Hunter — who himself now faces a criminal tax probe by the Justice Department.
Mr Giuliani also sought to undermine former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was pushed out on Mr Trump’s orders, and met several times with a Ukrainian lawmaker who released edited recordings of Mr Biden in an effort to smear him before the election.
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