Federal prosecutors advanced Giuliani-linked probe as impeachment concluded: report

Federal prosecutors in New York were pursuing an investigation related to Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiModerate Democrats now in a race against the clock Biden on Graham’s push for investigation: ‘I don’t know what happened’ to him Yovanovitch: Political leaders need to do more to support the foreign service MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request Avenatti found guilty in Nike extortion trial First, we’ll neuter all the judges MORE’s personal attorney, as the Senate’s impeachment trial was concluding, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The investigation, run out of the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, is focused on the activities of Giuliani and his two former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

The three are known to have been engaged in a shadow campaign to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchMenendez calls for ‘Marie Yovanovitch bill’ to protect foreign service employees Yovanovitch: Political leaders need to do more to support the foreign service Former diplomat Yovanovitch wins award for her work MORE, whose anti-corruption stance they viewed as an obstacle to Trump’s efforts to pressure Kyiv to investigate his political rivals. 

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People familiar with the investigation told the Post that prosecutors recently sought information related to Yovanovitch and inquired about two companies with ties to Parnas. 

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The recent moves to advance the probe, which included an interview with a witness last week, suggest the Giuliani-linked investigation that is also focused on two of the lawyer’s former associates is advancing even as the Justice Department opens a channel for Giuliani to submit information regarding his personal inquiry into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenProgressive journalist: Unions don’t want to ‘ruffle any feathers’ by endorsing in primary Behar, McCain get into fiery exchange over 2016 election in debate about Bloomberg Sanders leads Biden in latest Nevada poll MORE in Ukraine.

Giuliani has railed against the New York prosecutors’ probe, saying it is pursuing the “most unfair, vindictive investigation they have ever conducted.”

“I believe that the leaks and the investigation is intended to intimidate me as the president’s lawyer,” Giuliani told the Post in December. “I am fully confident that I did not commit any crimes of any kind.” 

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The news that the investigation is proceeding comes as the Justice Department is under intense scrutiny over allegations of political influence from Trump.

Those worries intensified after the agency recommended a sentence shorter than the one it had first proposed for Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneBarr has tapped outside prosecutor to review case against Flynn: NYT Senate Dems blast Barr for ‘clear violation’ of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump insists he can tweet about cases in rare break with Barr MORE, a longtime GOP operative and Trump associate. The reversal came after the president slammed the first recommendation as overly harsh on Twitter.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrBarr has tapped outside prosecutor to review case against Flynn: NYT Senate Dems blast Barr for ‘clear violation’ of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump insists he can tweet about cases in rare break with Barr MORE said Thursday that Trump never asked him to act in a criminal case, including Stone’s, but that tweets about the Department of Justice and its employees “make it impossible to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors in the department that we are doing our work with integrity.”

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