Attorneys for former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on Monday attacked the legitimacy of the search warrants that led to the federal raid of his home and office last month.
In a letter to a federal judge in Manhattan, Mr. Giuliani’s attorneys demanded that prosecutors disclose the underlying evidence and reasoning to justify the search warrant.
Defense attorneys say they have tried to get this information from prosecutors but have been rebuffed at every turn.
Prosecutors “simply chose to treat a distinguished lawyer as if he were the head of a drug cartel,” the Giuliani team wrote in the letter to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.
During the raid, the FBI seized electronic devices and other materials from Mr. Giuliani, a personal attorney and close adviser to former President Donald Trump. Prosecutors have asked for the appointment of an outside arbiter to review the seized material for attorney-client privilege.
But defense attorneys say that review shouldn’t happen until they have more information about warrants. They also requested more details about a secret 2019 search warrant, which they say was used to access Mr. Giuliani’s iCloud account but was not subject to review.
They say the account could have sensitive material detailing his conversations with for Mr. Trump, whom Mr. Giuliani served as a personal attorney during his impeachment and in other controversial legal matters.
“Prior to the [April 2021] executions of the warrants at issue prosecutors obtained the entirety of Giuliani’s iCloud, which certainly had communications with, and on behalf of, the sitting President, containing material relating to the impending impeachment, the welfare of the country, and to national security,” the attorneys wrote in the letter to Judge Oetken.
Mr. Giuliani’s attorneys have asked the judge to unseal the 2019 iCloud warrant so they can determine whether any information obtained from the iCloud account was a factor in securing the search warrants executed in April.
“The validity of the 2019 covert warrant, and the handling of the information obtained by the prosecutor are serious questions that must be resolved before any further damage is done,” the lawyers wrote.
“Moreover, the fruits of that 2019 search were certainly used in some part to secure the 2021 largely duplicative search warrant and subsequent seizures,” the letter said. “It is for those reasons that it is premature to consider a special master before these critical issues are resolved,” the letter continued.
Defense attorneys said Judge Oetken must decide whether last month’s search was legal before he mulls whether to appoint an arbiter to review the evidence seized from Mr. Giuliani’s home and office.
Federal prosecutors are probing whether Mr. Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws by working on behalf of Ukrainian officials, including by trying to dismiss Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to the country.
Mr. Giuliani has denied all wrongdoing and accused prosecutors of trying to “frame” him by turning the arcane and rarely enforced Foreign Agents Registration Act into a major crime. He also accuses left-leaning prosecutions of trying to punish him for his Trump associations.