As Rudy Giuliani comes under intensifying scrutiny for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, another legal threat is fading: the criminal inquiry into his ties to Ukraine during the presidential campaign. The investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the FBI, has examined whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials who helped him impugn Joe Biden, then expected to be the Democratic presidential nominee. After nearly three years, that inquiry into Giuliani, the former personal lawyer to Donald Trump, is unlikely to result in charges, reports the New York Times. While prosecutors had enough evidence last year to persuade a judge to order the seizure of Giuliani’s electronic devices, they did not uncover a smoking gun in the records. Prosecutors have not closed the investigation, and if new evidence were to emerge, they could still pursue Giuliani.
In a sign that the inquiry is close to wrapping up without an indictment, investigators returned the electronic devices to Giuliani. Giuliani also met with prosecutors and agents in February and answered their questions, a signal that his lawyers were confident he would not be charged. The Manhattan inquiry once posed the gravest legal danger to Giuliani, whose pressure campaign in Ukraine helped lead Trump to his first impeachment. In recent weeks, as the Manhattan investigation has wound down, Giuliani’s efforts to keep Trump in power after the 2020 election have come under a harsh glare. He has emerged as a key figure in the Georgia criminal investigation into attempts to overturn Trump’s loss in that state. Federal prosecutors are examining his role in creating alternate slates of pro-Trump electors in several states, and he has been a central focus of the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.