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    Wednesday, August 17, 2022

    Indictment of Giuliani in connection with Ukraine dealings appears unlikely

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference for his son Andrew Giuliani, a Republican candidate for governor of New York, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

    NEW YORK — Manhattan federal prosecutors investigating whether Rudy Giuliani broke the law by lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs recently returned his cellphones — and the former mayor is taking it as a sign that an indictment is unlikely.

    “As far as I know, everything has been returned. It was multiple iPhones and multiple iPads,” Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello told the Daily News on Wednesday. “I’m not surprised.”

    The FBI seized Giuliani’s devices in April 2021 during a 6 a.m. raid of his Midtown law office and Upper East Side apartment as part of a long-running probe into his business dealings.

    But the fruits of the springtime visit from the feds did not yield a smoking gun, leading prosecutors to put their case on ice, according to The New York Times, which cited two sources familiar with the investigation.

    Giuliani, 78, was “pleased” by reports the probe is winding down without charges, Costello said. Giuliani could not immediately be reached. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

    Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer met with prosecutors for the Southern District of New York in February and answered questions for “several hours” inside the office he led from 1983 to 1989, Costello said. He left the meeting confident he wouldn’t face charges for violating laws barring lobbying on behalf of foreign officials without registering as a foreign agent.

    The feds’ probe launched in 2019, shortly after Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were charged with a sweeping campaign finance scheme that overlapped with President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine officials to dig up dirt on Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

    Giuliani admittedly quizzed Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko about Biden in 2019 on Trump’s behalf — but denied representing the Ukrainian official in stateside lobbying efforts.

    A judge sentenced Parnas to 20 months in prison in June for illegally donating Russian financiers’ money to U.S. politicians. The scheme was unrelated to his work as a fixer for Giuliani.

    Fruman was sentenced to a year and a day in January.

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