Giuliani’s two associates – Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – were arrested in October 2019 as they were about to board a Washington-Frankfurt flight with one-way tickets. Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman have been accused of violating campaign finance laws as part of a complex ploy to undermine former US Ambassador to Kyiv Marie L. Yovanovitch, who Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump, should have put more pressure on the Ukrainians.
Manhattan prosecutors have continued to investigate Mr Giuliani’s role in the scheme over the past year, focusing on whether he was, pushing to oust the US ambassador to Ukraine. , essentially duplicated: working not only for Mr. Trump but also for Ukrainian officials. who wanted the ambassador to leave for their own reasons, according to people briefed on the matter.
It is a federal crime to attempt to influence the United States government at the request or direction of a foreign official without revealing his involvement. Mr Giuliani said he did nothing wrong and did not register as a foreign agent because he was acting on behalf of Mr Trump, not the Ukrainians.
Even as Mr. Trump maintains the election was stolen and files lawsuits to delay his certification, his White House is preparing for the final stages of his presidency. The end of any administration usually sets off a wave of pardons, especially when a term has been engulfed in a controversy like Mr. Trump’s, in which several people close to him have been trapped in federal investigations.
“The power of pardon has been used by many presidents in a politically interested manner, be it George HW Bush or Clinton,” said Jack L. Goldsmith, professor at Harvard Law School, citing how Mr. Bush pardoned six of his associates. – including the former Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger – for their role in the Iran-contra affair.
“Politically, a pardon from Giuliani would be explosive,” Mr. Goldsmith added, “but forgiving buddies has already been done.”
In previous administrations, presidents have largely granted pardons after going through a formal review process at the Department of Justice, where lawyers reviewed convictions, discussed the ramifications of the potential pardon with prosecutors, and then provided to the White House for recommendations on how to proceed. . On several occasions, Mr. Trump has gone against Justice Department recommendations and the advice of his own White House advisers, granting pardons to political allies and celebrities.