The move by Giuliani, who is President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is notable because last week he said he would not be seeking a new lawyer unless he felt one was needed. His previous lawyer, John Sale, was helping him deal with congressional inquiries.
“If they take me to court I would then have to get another lawyer,” Giuliani told CNN’s Mike Warren on October 15.
Earlier on Wednesday, Giuliani said he had not heard from the FBI, US attorneys for the Southern District of New York or any other lawyer pertaining to the Ukraine matter.
He would not directly comment Wednesday morning to CNN about whether he has hired or is in the process of hiring a criminal attorney.
Giuliani asserted in a tweet on Wednesday night that “everything I did was to discover evidence to defend my client against false charges. Dems would be horrified by the attacks on me, if my client was a terrorist. But they don’t believe @realDonaldTrump has rights.”
Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine in addition to a counterintelligence probe, CNN has previously reported. Two associates of the former New York mayor, Lev Parnas and Igor Furman, were charged with campaign finance-related offenses and pleaded not guilty in a court appearance Wednesday.
As CNN previously reported, people close to Giuliani have been advising him to hire a criminal lawyer as questions linger about his connections to Parnas and Furman. He had been resisting that advice, according to those people.
CNN reported earlier this month that investigators looking into Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine have dug into everything from possible financial entanglements with alleged corrupt Ukrainian figures to counterintelligence concerns raised by some of those business ties, according to people briefed on the matter.
Kenneth McCallion, a New York attorney, said investigators had first approached him earlier this year to ask about Giuliani’s ties to Parnas and Fruman.
Giuliani’s ties to Trump’s Ukraine dealings have been increasingly revealed since the White House released a transcript of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — which has become the focus of the House’s impeachment inquiry into the President.
According to the White House transcript, the Ukrainian President said he was aware of Giuliani’s efforts to uncover information that would help Trump politically, and Trump encouraged Zelensky to speak with his lawyer because Giuliani “very much knows what’s happening.” Trump, the transcript showed, pressed Zelensky to work with Giuliani to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by either Biden.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly, Sara Murray, Shimon Prokupecz, Taylor Romine and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.