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Prosecutors do not plan criminal charges against Giuliani over Ukraine

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference in June. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

NEW YORK — Justice Department officials do not plan criminal charges against Rudy Giuliani in connection with his dealings in Ukraine while serving as a personal attorney for former president Donald Trump, according to a letter made public Monday.

The decision was disclosed in a one-paragraph letter, filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, indicating that the investigation into Giuliani’s interactions with Ukrainian individuals was done and “that based on information currently available to the Government, criminal charges are not forthcoming.”

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The letter asked U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken to release Barbara Jones, a former federal judge, from her duties as “special master” in the case. Jones and her team were appointed to review thousands of communications that were contained on phones and computers, to filter out privileged items before releasing evidence to investigators.

On Monday, Jones was separately tapped to serve as independent monitor overseeing operations at the Trump Organization, the former president’s namesake company, while a civil fraud lawsuit brought by New York state remains pending against Trump and the company.

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor who once also ran the same prosecutor’s office that sought several of his electronic devices in this matter, has repeatedly said he did not commit any violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The investigation into the matter resulted in an April 28, 2021, seizure of devices at his Manhattan home and offices.

Arthur Aidala, one of Giuliani’s attorneys, said in a statement his side was “very pleased but not surprised” that the U.S. Attorney decided not to bring charges. On Twitter, Giuliani posted a CNN story about the prosecutors’ decision and labeled the post “COMPLETE & TOTAL VINDICATION.”

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Giuliani remains a target of a special grand jury investigation in Georgia where a prosecutor is probing efforts by Trump and supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Giuliani’s engagements in Ukraine during Trump’s presidency were a prominent theme in the former president’s first impeachment proceeding. Guiliani was said to be making contacts there in an effort to dig up incriminating information about now-President Biden and his son Hunter in advance of the 2020 election.

Trump, with Giuliani’s assistance, was accused of trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing a criminal investigation into the Bidens, allegedly suggesting he would withhold military aid from Ukraine, before the war with Russia began, if Zelensky didn’t cooperate.

Trump was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Republican-led Senate after a trial on obstruction of Congress and abuse of power charges in February 2020.