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Prosecutors seeks 'special master' to review Giuliani items

Last Updated May 4, 2021 at 6:17 pm PDT

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors have asked a Manhattan federal judge to appoint a “special master” to oversee the review of materials seized last week from Rudy Giuliani’s home, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.

In a letter dated last Thursday, prosecutors requested the oversight, saying it would be similar to what occurred after federal agents seized electronic devices from the home and office of attorney Michael Cohen three years ago.

At the time, Cohen was one of then-President Donald Trump’s attorneys. Giuliani also represented the president. Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to campaign finance laws and other crimes and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Last Wednesday, FBI agents recovered multiple electronic devices during an early-morning search of Giuliani’s home and office.

In their letter, prosecutors said the raid was carried out on Giuliani by FBI agents who have not been involved in the investigation and will not be involved in the future. They said a day after the raids that FBI technical specialists had begun extracting materials from the seized devices, but had not yet begun reviewing the materials.

Giuliani has objected to the seizure in part because he contends the material on the devices would be subject to attorney-client privilege — the client being Trump. Courts sometimes designate an attorney not directly involved with the case, known as a “special master,” to address such concerns.

The federal probe is examining Giuliani’s interactions with Ukrainian figures and whether he violated a federal law that governs lobbying on behalf of foreign countries or entities.

Giuliani, a Republican and former mayor of New York City, has said all of his activities in Ukraine were conducted on behalf of Trump. At the time, Giuliani was leading a campaign to press Ukraine for an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, before Biden was elected president.

The Associated Press