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Recently, the FBI searched Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment. The search was made in connection with the prosecution of two Ukrainian Americans for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Giuliani is a respected lawyer, a former federal prosecutor, and was mayor of New York during the 9/11 attacks. FARA prosecutions are rare and typically are dealt with through fines. The use of search warrants against a lawyer is also unusual, and the Department of Justice handbook counsels the use of some lesser means, such as subpoenas, to obtain information when possible.
Corruption in the Ukraine
In his dealings with Ukraine, Giuliani says he acted as President Trump’s emissary and lawyer. These “minister without portfolio” employments have been used before, particularly where, as in Ukraine, American government officials may themselves be corrupt, compromised, or resistant to the president’s agenda.
The president ultimately has authority over foreign policy and can use whomever he pleases to carry it out. One of Giuliani’s stated tasks was to encourage the Ukrainian authorities to look into the suspicious employment of Hunter Biden on the board of the natural gas company, Burisma.
Hunter Biden’s role in that company, and that of then-Vice President Biden, does appear fishy, not least because Joe bragged about how he withheld American aid to strong-arm the Ukrainians into firing the prosecutor investigating Burisma while Hunter Biden was on the company’s board.
Ukraine appears for many years to have been the “Star Wars Cantina” of Europe, a poorly governed ex-Soviet Republic, where second-tier American politicos and their loser kids made a ton of money. Trump’s apparent concern over the extensive, well-documented corruption of that country was the ostensible basis for the first impeachment proceedings against him. It’s funny how this non-NATO country on the periphery of Europe causes so many issues back home. But it is, among other things, a proxy for whether Americans favor a renewed Cold War with Russia.
The Deep State has a strong view on the subject. Trump did not hide his completely reasonable and openly stated desire for better relations with Russia in his 2016 campaign. In fact, Hillary made a big show of it. But the American people voted for peace.
For the Deep State, scaling back commitments is not allowed, even when it’s ratified by an election. It was hostile to Trump across the board, extending to the unprecedented spying on his campaign during and after the 2016 election. They lied about many things to do this. They also protected their own, notably FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who forged an email and got a slap on wrist. He even was permitted to remain a lawyer by the DC Bar.