A criminal investigation into Rudy Giuliani's ties to Ukraine during the 2020 presidential campaign seems unlikely to result in any charges, The New York Times reports.
The FBI and federal prosecutors in Manhattan examined whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials who helped him dig up dirt on then-candidate Joe Biden. But after almost three years, no smoking guns have been recovered, according to the report.
The investigation is still open, however, and prosecutors could pursue charges if new evidence emerges. As the Times' report points out, Giuliani met with prosecutors and agents in February and answered their questions -- "a signal that his lawyers were confident he would not be charged."
Giuliani, once a top New York prosecutor before becoming a celebrated mayor of the city, was a personal lawyer for Trump when the president was impeached in December 2019 for seeking political help from Ukraine.
Giuliani spent months trying to help Trump find dirt in Ukraine on election rival Joe Biden and Biden's son Hunter during 2018-2020.
The investigation was reportedly focused on Giuliani's paid work for Ukrainian businessmen. Two Ukrainian-born men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped Giuliani in those efforts, were arrested in October 2019 and charged with illegally funneling large donations to a pro-Trump fundraising committee.
Giuliani said last year that evidence collected during an FBI raid would prove him and the former president "innocent," slamming the government's investigation.
Giuliani has other legal woes too. In January he was sued by a voting machine maker for $1.3 billion for spreading claims after the November presidential election that its machines were part of alleged massive voting fraud that caused Trump's loss.
No significant fraud has been demonstrated in the 2020 election.
"The Manhattan inquiry once posed the gravest legal danger to Mr. Giuliani, whose pressure campaign in Ukraine helped lead Mr. Trump to his first impeachment. But in recent weeks, as the Manhattan investigation has wound down, Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to keep Mr. Trump in power after the 2020 election have come under an increasingly harsh glare," the Times reported. "He has emerged as a key figure in the Georgia criminal investigation into attempts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in that state. Federal prosecutors also 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."
With additional reporting by AFP