A federal search warrant executed this week against Rudy Giuliani reveals investigators "obviously have a focus" in the ongoing investigation into Giuliani's conduct in Ukraine, CBS News Legal Analyst Rikki Klieman said.
"You cannot simply go out and get a search warrant for an attorney unless you have a real basis to look at probable cause to give to investigators and eventually perhaps to a grand jury," Klieman told chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett in this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast. "This would be something that would be going all the way up through the Department of Justice."
Giuliani, in his role as former President Trump's personal attorney, was enmeshed in Mr. Trump's 2019 efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to open investigations into political rivals like Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Two former associates of Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted on campaign finance violations in 2019. In the months following the 2020 presidential election, Giuliani pushed falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the outcome in a bid to overturn the results. Most of the legal challenges were struck down in court.
Klieman told Garrett she doesn't believe the investigation into Giuliani is political.
"You don't change administrations, get a new attorney general and decide to execute an old search warrant," Klieman, a criminal defense attorney, said. "You obviously have to have a current search warrant with current probable cause to search."
Garrett and Klieman also talked about policing and race in America in the wake of the guilty verdicts against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
"I think there can be no dispute that that killing for nine minutes and twenty nine seconds galvanized a movement across the country of peaceful protest," Klieman said, adding that the country is at a crossroads to reform police tactics.
"I have conversations with police people all the time, both at the patrolmen level as well as at the commissioner level, past and present, who will talk about the fact that what they want is to have trust going both ways," Klieman said. "These are cultural changes and we can't look at this as a moment of crisis only for people of color. This is a moment of crisis where the actions have also got to be a part of the police community.
Highlights from this week's "The Takeout":
- The search of Giuliani's Manhattan home by federal investigators: "You cannot simply go out and get a search warrant for an attorney unless you have a real basis to look at probable cause to give to investigators and eventually perhaps to a grand jury... This would be something that would be going all the way up through the Department of Justice."
- Killing of George Floyd: "I think that the George Floyd murder in and of itself, if it just stood alone, would have been enough to really create a movement in this country. One of the things that happened with that terrible murder was the fact that we as a populace watched nine minutes and twenty nine seconds. Excessive use-of-force cases... are usually a matter of seconds. They are very rarely a matter of minutes. But when you get to the level of nine minutes plus, that is extraordinary."
- Police reform and race in America: "We can't look at this as a moment of crisis only for people of color. This is a moment of crisis where the actions have also got to be a part of the police community."
For more of Major's conversation with Klieman, download "The Takeout" podcast on Art19, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).
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