Jun 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former federal judge appointed to review materials from FBI Giuliani raid

Former federal judge Barbara Jones speaking at news conference in New York City in September 2019.

Former federal Judge Barbara Jones. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken on Wednesday appointed former federal Judge Barbara Jones as a "special master" to review materials seized by the FBI from Rudy Giuliani's New York City apartments as part of a federal investigation into his dealings in Ukraine, according to AP.

Why it matters: Jones is now responsible for reviewing the sensitive materials, which include multiple cellphones and computers, and ensuring that attorney-client privilege is protected during the examination, a process that could take months.

Context: After the FBI executed search warrants on Giuliani's apartment and office in April, federal prosecutors requested that a court-appointed outside expert review the materials because of the "unusually sensitive privilege issues" and the "overt and public nature" of the search warrants.

  • Investigators are attempting to determine if Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws through his interactions with Ukrainian figures.

The big picture: Giuliani has claimed he was acting on behalf of former President Trump, his former client, in Ukraine, according to AP.

  • The former New York City mayor in the summer of 2019 had been attempting to pressure Ukrainian officials into opening investigations into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in return for better relations with the Trump administration.

Of note: Jones reviewed materials from FBI search warrants against Michael Cohen in 2018, according to AP.

Go deeper: CNN obtains audio of Giuliani pressing Ukrainian official on Biden

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that the FBI searched Giuliani's apartment and office (not two apartments) and that Jones was designated special master in the Michael Cohen case in 2018 (not 2019).

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