Former top Ukrainian prosecutor's emails seized in Giuliani raid

Giuliani began representing Trump, a fellow Republican, in April 2018
Last Updated : 25 May 2021, 21:39 IST

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US prosecutors investigating Rudolph Giuliani's ties to Ukraine have seized materials from that country's former chief prosecutor, who was involved in efforts to uncover dirt about current US President Joe Biden, according to a Tuesday court filing.

Investigators seized an email account appearing to belong to Yuriy Lutsenko, the former prosecutor general of Ukraine, and two other Ukrainians, the filing said.

The disclosures came in redacted portions of a letter from Joseph Bondy, a lawyer for indicted former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, which could be read when pasted into a word processing program.

They suggest wider probes than previously known related to Giuliani, personal lawyer for former US President Donald Trump and one-time mayor of New York City.

A spokesman for US Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan, whose office is investigating Giuliani, declined to comment. Neither Bondy nor Giuliani's lawyer Robert Costello were immediately available for comment.

Giuliani has denied wrongdoing.

"I have no news," Lutsenko said in a message on Tuesday. "I did not communicate with Giuliani either by phone or by mail."

Prosecutors have been examining whether Giuliani violated lobbying laws by acting as an unregistered foreign agent while working for Trump.

They had previously disclosed seizing 18 electronic devices, including cellphones and computers, in April 28 raids on Giuliani's home and office pursuant to warrants, and executing a separate warrant that day against lawyer Victoria Toensing.

Giuliani began representing Trump, a fellow Republican, in April 2018 as then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probed Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

He enlisted Parnas and another associate, Igor Fruman, prior to the 2020 US election to dig up dirt concerning Ukraine and Biden.

Lutsenko told the US columnist John Solomon in 2019 he had evidence related to Ukrainian gas company Burisma and Biden's son Hunter, who had been a Burisma director. He later told Reuters he found no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.

According to Bondy, other materials seized from Nov. 2019 to March 2020 included email and iCloud accounts believed to belong to former Ukrainian fiscal service chief Roman Nasirov, and the iPhone and iPad of pro-Trump businessman Alexander Levin.

Bondy said the seized evidence, including from Giuliani and Toensing, was relevant to the bid by Parnas and his co-defendants to dismiss their indictment on the ground of "selective prosecution."

The Ukraine-born Parnas and the Belarus-born Fruman pleaded not guilty in November to violating campaign finance laws and other charges.

Parnas and Fruman were charged with concealing an illegal $325,000 donation to support Trump's failed 2020 reelection bid, and using donations to US politicians from a Russian businessman to obtain licenses for a legal marijuana business.

A third defendant has also been charged in that case, and pleaded not guilty.

Published 25 May 2021, 20:13 IST

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