Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday defended Rudy Giuliani after the FBI raided the former New York mayor’s apartment — with Graham saying judges issue search warrants “pretty easily” and that he’s concerned Giuliani may be receiving unfair treatment.
The South Carolina Republican, who is a lawyer and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said past investigative abuses by the FBI against associates of former President Donald Trump make him wary of the justification for the raid.
“I’m very suspicious of a lot of this stuff. We’ve been told a 1,000 times that everybody in the Trumpworld was a Russian agent. It turned out to be not accurate,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“I’ve known Rudy for a long time. Because somebody issues a search warrant doesn’t mean you’re guilty.”
Graham said that Giuliani, who served as Trump’s personal attorney, may be getting a raw deal from the FBI, which notoriously misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil 2016 Trump campaign adviser Carter Page — drawing a scathing inspector general report and a rare rebuke from the tribunal. Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying records submitted to the court.
“All the accusations in the past that have disrupted people’s lives — Carter Page, [George] Papadopoulos — I don’t know if this is a continuation of that, or there’s some there. Let’s let the process go forth,” Graham said.
The raid reportedly is part of an investigation into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied Trump on behalf of Ukrainian businessmen. But Graham said he’s concerned that the investigation may have gained steam after Biden took office on Jan. 20.
“I’m very skeptical of this area, given what I’ve seen by the FBI and the Mueller investigation. I think the people who are investigating the Ukraine and Russia under Trump have a heightened scrutiny. And Rudy like everybody else is presumed innocent,” Graham said.
“A search warrant can be issued depending on who the judge is pretty easily. Let’s see what happens. But the past abuse of power should alarm everyone. And let’s don’t jump the gun.”
Giuliani is well-known for his attempts to investigate Hunter Biden’s reported $83,000 per month job on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Giuliani’s inquiry was a major part of Democrats’ case against Trump during his first impeachment for urging Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Giuliani later played a pivotal role in publicizing the contents of a laptop that formerly belonged to Hunter Biden, including documents that appear to link President Biden to his son’s business relationships in China and Ukraine.
A Delaware computer repairman provided Giuliani with a copy of the hard drive and The Post reported on those contents during the 2020 campaign for presidential.