Giuliani’s ‘electronics seized in NYC apartment probe' as FBI search lawyer Victoria Toensing's home 'over Ukraine ties'

RUDY Giuliani's New York City apartment was raided on Wednesday as the FBI searched fellow lawyer Victoria Toensing's home over alleged Ukraine ties.

It marks a step up in the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s former attorney's dealings in Ukraine.

The New York Times claims three sources close to the matter confirmed federal investigators carried out a search warrant on the former NYC mayor's Upper East Side home.

A law enforcement official also confirmed the search to the Associated Press but said they could not discuss the matter publicly.

A request for comment from the FBI and US attorney's office made by The Sun was not returned.

The United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI has been seeking a search warrant for Giuliani's phone for months, the Times reports.

The Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant under the Trump administration.

The path was reportedly cleared for the search to be carried out after Merrick B. Garland was confirmed as President Joe Biden’s attorney general in March.

Another search warrant was executed on Wednesday at attorney Victoria Toensing's house in Washington DC. The lawyer worked close with Giuliani, the Times claimed.

The long-running investigation into Giuliani, a former personal lawyer to Trump, is focused on whether he illegally lobbied the ex-president's administration.

Giuliani has previously branded it “pure political persecution.”

"Here we go folks," Michael Cohen tweeted as the news of the raid broke.

Cohen is also a former Trump attorney who was the subject of a federal raid regarding campaign activities.

He pleaded guilty to eight federal counts of tax evasion and campaign finance violations in 2018.

"As I have said many times…they will all be held responsible for their own," he added in a later tweet.

The probe is looking to confirm if Giuliani lobbied on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs in 2019.

It is also investigating whether these Ukrainian officials were helping Giuliani dig for dirt on Trump's rival Joe Biden at the time.

The attorney had been central to efforts to unearth wrongdoing on the part of the president's son Hunter Biden.

Hunter himself is now facing a criminal tax probe by the Justice Department. 

The Giuliani investigation grew out of a case against two Soviet-born men who were aiding him in the search for information on Biden.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were charged with unrelated crimes in 2019 and are currently awaiting trial.

As well as investigating Giuliani's business dealings, the probe is looking at his potential role in encouraging the Trump administration to oust the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

This issue was the subject of the former president's first impeachment trial in early 2020.

Giuliani allegedly saw Yovanovitch as an obstacle to the investigation into the Bidens.

Prosecutors are exploring whether, at the time, Giuliani was working for Ukrainian officials who wanted Yovanovitch gone for their own reasons.

If evidence is found, Giuliani would have been in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Under the act, it is a federal crime to lobby the US government on behalf of a foreign official without the Justice Department being made aware.

A search warrant is not an indication of any wrongdoing on Giuliani's part.

In order to acquire the warrant, investigators would have needed to convince a judge that there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed.

They would also have needed to convince the judge that a search could find more evidence of a crime.

The probe into Giuliani, one of Trump's most prominent allies, stalled last year due to a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought reelection.

The Justice Department tries to avoid taking aggressive investigative actions within 60 days of an election if it is believed it could influence the vote.

It was also paused amid Giuliani's role in contesting the 2020 election and pushing Trump's legal challenge to the results.

More details on Wednesday's search were not immediately available.

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