According to a report at Politico, the Justice Department is ramping up its investigation of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and reallocating resources and staffers to the criminal probe.
Giuliani has been quiet of late, with no TV appearances and only a few tweets in support of President Donald Trump, and is reportedly looking for a new lawyer despite previously saying he didn't need one.
"The scrutiny isn’t just coming from the previously known probes by FBI agents and the U.S. attorney’s office based out of Manhattan, according to two people familiar with the investigation," Politico reports. "The criminal division of the Justice Department in Washington has taken an interest in the former New York mayor, too, meaning an expansion of resources that indicates the politically sensitive probe into the president’s personal attorney is both broader and moving at a faster pace than previously understood."
Politico notes that the Giuliani investigation by the criminal division "is sure to place additional scrutiny on William Barr, who as attorney general has final say over all department business."
"Giuliani’s troubles aren’t just his alone," the report continues. "He has turned members of the Trump team he’s worked with over the last 18 months into potential witnesses for federal prosecutors, who are trying to unravel the tangled relationships he brought to the mix in advising the president while still juggling an international consulting business that promised proximity to the White House."
Giuliani's legal problems have led the White House to sideline him as it plots impeachment strategy, with the report stating: "Lawmakers’ hyperfocus on Giuliani prompted a decision by Trump’s legal team to sideline its most famous member from handling any Ukraine matters as part of the president’s defense should Democrats advance a specific article of impeachment addressing the subject, according to a person familiar with the lawyers’ strategy."
While the Justice Department has been mostly mum on what charges Giuliani may be facing, insiders have dropped hints that he better lawyer up -- and do so quickly.
"They’ve sent plenty of signals that Giuliani may want to lawyer up himself — a back-channel effort has been underway for more than a week to help find him an attorney — as speculation swirls that he could face charges on everything from violating federal statutes dealing with bribery, foreign lobbying registration and disclosure to making false statements to government officials," the report notes.
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