On Wednesday, federal agents executed a search warrant at the Manhattan home of Rudy Giuliani in connection with a long-running criminal investigation into his involvement with Ukraine in the latter years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Unless you have been on another planet or hiding under some coats for the last 24 hours, you almost certainly heard about it.
But there’s plenty of context about Giuliani and Ukraine that you might have forgotten over these last few years. Which is why I am here to remind you!
1. In a September 2019 interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Giuliani first denied that he had asked the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden before admitting he actually had moments later. (You have to see it to believe it.)
2. In October 2019, two men connected to Giuliani’s efforts to dig up dirt on Biden – Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – were arrested before a flight to Frankfurt, Germany. The charges involved alleged attempts by the two men to funnel foreign contributions into US elections.
3. In December 2019, Giuliani told the New Yorker’s Adam Entous that he needed to get US Ambassador to the Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch “out of the way” because “she was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”
4. In February 2020, then-President Trump acknowledged that he had sent Giuliani to Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents. (Trump had denied doing so during the impeachment process.)
5. In July 2020, a top aide to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the outreach by Giuliani to Pompeo to get Yovanovitch removed was “deeply disturbing.”
Now, it’s also worth remembering that Giuliani has yet to be charged with any crimes – and has denied any wrongdoing. Giuliani’s lawyer called the search warrant “legal thuggery” on Wednesday.
But let’s be honest here: None of this looks good for Giuliani. The bar for securing a search warrant against such a high-profile figure is very high – and that was met here. And this level of activity suggests that the investigation may well be moving into a new and more active stage.
The Point: Giuliani will sleep less well tonight than he did last night. Or at least, I would if I were him.