Giuliani helps feds unlock devices as charging decision looms

Giuliani unlocked several devices, or gave investigators possible passwords.

April 14, 2022, 3:35 PM

Rudy Giuliani assisted federal investigators in unlocking several electronic devices that had been seized from him by the FBI -- a move that could speed a decision from Southern District of New York prosecutors whether to charge the former New York City mayor and presidential candidate over his lobbying efforts in Ukraine, his attorney and sources familiar with the case told ABC News.

The FBI seized more than a dozen devices from Giuliani's home and office during a search last April. A court-appointed special master has been reviewing the contents but had been slowed by the inability to access all of the devices, the sources said.

Giuliani either unlocked several devices himself or gave investigators a list of possible passwords, the sources said, confirming information first reported by CNN.

There has been no comment as of yet from the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.

ABC News previously reported prosecutors began reviewing thousands of communications from Giuliani after the special master filtered out material she deemed to be subject to the attorney-client privilege.

According to her latest report in January, the special master, retired Judge Barbara Jones, agreed about half of what Giuliani designated as privileged should be withheld from federal prosecutors who are investigating his business practices.

Jones said Giuliani previously asserted privilege over 96 chats and messages on a cellphone that contained about 25,000 chats and messages.

"Mr. Giuliani designated 96 items as privileged and/or highly personal. Of those 96 designated items, I agreed that 40 were privileged, Mr. Giuliani's counsel withdrew the privilege designation over 19, and I found that 37 were not privileged," Jones said in her report.

The remaining 56 items were turned over to federal prosecutors.

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