FBI raids Rudy Giuliani, retrieves Victoria Toensing’s phone for Ukraine investigation

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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The FBI raids Rudy Giuliani’s home and office and retrieve Victoria Toensing’s cellphone as part of a Justice Department investigation into the former mayor’s dealings in Ukraine.

The investigation is focused on the possibility that Giuliani illegally represented corrupt Ukrainian officials and oligarchs — and lobbied U.S. officials on their behalf — in 2019. This include Giuliani’s successful maneuvering to oust Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Investigators tried to obtain search warrants months earlier but were blocked by the Trump administration.

The warrants do not accuse Mr. Giuliani of wrongdoing, but they underscore his legal peril: They indicate a judge has found that investigators have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of that crime.

The New York Times

The warrants are for any communications between Giuliani and people involved in his Ukraine efforts, including Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko and U.S. propaganda writer John Solomon.

During the Trump-Ukraine saga and scandal of the last administration, Giuliani and Solomon coordinated closely enough that, on one Saturday evening in April 2019, Giuliani texted The Daily Beast, unsolicited and unprompted, a lengthy message that read, “Edited draft of column that goes live at 7a tomorrow.” The rest of the message seemed to have been a copy-and-paste of a whole column, and included headline suggestions such as “Ukrainian to U.S. prosecutors: Why don’t you want our evidence on Democrats?” and “Ukrainians build a case against Democrats, but does anyone in U.S. care?” The text message also read, “By John Solomon.”

It wasn’t clear why Giuliani was getting seemingly full previews of Solomon’s writing before it had been published, and Giuliani claimed at the time he’d gotten the unpublished article from someone other than Solomon, though he declined to say who.

The Daily Beast

Victoria Toensing and her husband Joseph diGenova are attorneys and longtime GOP operatives who were representing Solomon at the time (and possibly still today).

In June 2019, Trump’s DOJ hired Victoria’s son, Brady Toensing. A few weeks later, her and her husband took on a new client, Dmitry / Dmytro Firtash — a Ukrainian oligarch and Putin asset who wanted the DOJ to overturn corruption charges against him.

The relationship was initiated by Rudy Giuliani and arranged by Lev Parnas — who’d been meeting with Giuliani, Trump, and Don Jr. for over a year and had helped raise over $1 million for Trump’s re-election campaign. Parnas worked as an interpreter between Firtash and the couple. Giuliani hoped Parnas or the attorneys could obtain compromising material on Joe Biden from Firtash.

Firtash is best known in the U.S. for helping funnel Russian money to politicians in other countries, including Ukraine. In 2017, the DOJ identified him as working in the “upper-echelon” of Russia’s transnational organized crime syndicates.

In late 2008, Firtash told Ukraine’s prime minister that organized crime boss Semion Mogilevich is the “real power” behind his work. You might not know of Mogilevich, but you should. In a speech in 2011, Robert Mueller identified him as the greatest threat to American democracy as we know it, adding that transnational organized crime may have already infiltrated our industries and government. Anyone working for Firtash is also working for Vladimir Putin and Semion Mogilevich, whether they know it or not.

External Sources

The Daily Beast (Archived)

The Wall Street Journal (Archived)

The New York Times (Archived)

Other sources listed in Trump lawyer tied to Mogilevich calls for execution of election official

Photo: Public Domain

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