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U.S. got ex-Ukrainian officials’ data in Giuliani probe

NEW YORK >> U.S. prosecutors in 2019 sought the electronic messages of two ex-Ukrainian government officials and a Ukrainian businessman as part of their probe of Rudy Giuliani’s dealings in that country, a lawyer accidentally revealed in a court filing today.

The filing said federal prosecutors in New York had informed defense lawyers that the seized communications included an email account believed to belong to the former prosecutor general of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko.

It said prosecutors accessed Lutsenko’s account around the same time that investigators also got access to Giuliani’s Apple iCloud account.

Lutsenko was a key figure in Giuliani’s efforts to press Ukraine for an investigation into then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

The two have both said in interviews that they met to discuss both the possibility of Ukraine launching an investigation of Hunter Biden’s job with a Ukrainian gas company and Lutsenko’s desire to meet with the U.S. attorney general to discuss efforts to recover looted national assets.

Lutsenko also spoke with Giuliani about his clashes with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who the Trump administration later removed.

The filing said prosecutors had also seized an email account believed to belong to the former head of the Ukrainian Fiscal Service, Roman Nasirov, in December, 2019, and the iPhone and iPad of Ukrainian businessman Alexander Levin in February and March 2020.

The identities of the individuals were in a submission in Manhattan federal court filed by a lawyer representing Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani who was charged in 2019 with scheming to make illegal campaign contributions.

The names were redacted in the document but could be viewed when copied into a separate document. CNN was the first to report the faulty redactions and the details on what the document contained.

The document also said prosecutors had obtained “historical and prospective cell site information” related to Giuliani and Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing, a former federal prosecutor and close ally of Giuliani and former President Donald Trump. Her law firm has said she was informed that she is not a target of the investigation.

Prosecutors are examining Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine and whether he violated a federal law that governs lobbying on behalf of foreign countries or entities. No charges have been filed.

Giuliani has insisted that his activities in Ukraine were conducted on behalf of Trump, not any foreign entity or person.

Last week, prosecutors revealed they had seized 18 electronic devices during raids on Giuliani’s home and his law firm several weeks ago and a cell phone from Toensing. They also say they obtained email and Apple iCloud accounts of Giuliani and Toensing in 2019.

Prosecutors said investigators had successfully downloaded 11 devices belonging to Giuliani and returned them to him. They said they need to obtain passcodes or unlock seven other devices belonging to Giuliani or employees of his business.

Lawyers for Giuliani have challenged last month’s raids on the grounds that anything gathered from the 2019 search warrants was illegally obtained because investigators improperly intruded on private communications with the president during their secret inquiry.

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