Rudolph W. Giuliani says that the FBI secretly spied on his Apple iCloud account beginning in late 2019 when he was having regular messaging conversations with his client, President Trump, during House impeachment proceedings.
Mr. Giuliani said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on Thursday informed his attorney, Robert Costello, that covert wiretapping took place.
“He asked [the prosecutor] to repeat it because he couldn’t believe it was true,” Mr. Giuliani said this week on the “Rita Cosby Show” on WABC radio in New York. “To me they just trashed the president of the United States.”
Mr. Giuliani, once the mob-fighting top prosecutor in New York and then the city’s mayor, said an assistant U.S. attorney made the disclosure because the operation will have to be detailed in court. The penetration happened under the Trump administration and then-Attorney General William P. Barr and was carried out by the U.S. Southern District of New York. It prosecuted former Trump attorney Michael Cohen on tax charges.
The FBI raided Mr. Giuliani’s New York apartment and law office on Wednesday morning, grabbing seven to nine electronic communication and storage devices. The search warrant said he is suspected of violating the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act by allegedly representing a Ukrainian official in dealings with the U.S. government and not filing as an agent. Mr. Giuliani said he never acted as an agent with any of his Ukrainian contacts as he investigated the Biden family.
In late 2019, Mr. Giuliani said he was defending the president against the “phony impeachment” claim that Democrats lodged about Mr. Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Trump urged an investigation into now-President Biden and son Hunter, who gained a lucrative board seat on a company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
“Meanwhile, the Justice Department, while I’m defending him on that with others, invaded my iCloud,” Mr. Giuliani said.
“I can’t fathom that would be done to an ordinary citizen,” he said. “The president doesn’t have any more rights than anybody else, but he doesn’t have any less. To me, they just trashed the president of the United States like he has no constitutional rights.”
Mr. Giuliani said he conducted many conversations with the president that presumably could be retrieved off of iCloud — a backup cyber storage system for emails, texts, documents, photos — just about anything contained on personal devices such as cellphones and computers.
“Unless these people have no ethics or any sense of what it means to be a lawyer, what you do when you do that, people who listen to this now say how can I trust talking to my lawyer,” he said. “The government may come in and start listening to it or might try to see text of memoranda.”
Mr. Giuliani said that after he learned of the iCloud penetration, he notified two Trump attorneys.
“I let them know his rights once again have been trashed by what now has to be described as the department of injustice,” Mr. Giuliani said. “If they can do this to us they can do this to anyone they want to do it to.”
Said host Ms. Cosby, “The iCloud stuff is stunning. It is so stunning.”
Mr. Giuliani is no longer the former president’s attorney. Besides his Ukraine investigation, in court he led the president’s “Stop the Steal” campaign that alleged Mr. Trump actually defeated candidate Joseph R. Biden.
None of Mr. Giuliani’s key allegations of election fraud have been proven to date.
Mr. Trump underwent a long investigation by the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia-Trump election probe. Mr. Mueller reported in March 2019 that he did not find a conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump also had to deal with a number of felony claims in a Democratic Party-funded dossier sourced to the Kremlin. The FBI, intelligence community and congressional investigators determined the dossier was filled with inaccuracies and Russian disinformation.