The FBI Searched the Home of a Rudy Giuliani Associate
Dennis Van Tine/AP
Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.FBI agents on Tuesday searched the California home of George Dickson III, a marijuana entrepreneur who last year partnered with Rudy Giuliani to line up financing for a never completed documentary aimed at advancing the former New York mayor’s bogus claims about Joe and Hunter Biden and Ukraine.
Asked about a search at Dickson’s address in Aptos, California, a spokesperson for the FBI’s San Francisco office on Thursday said they could “confirm the FBI was present at that location on Tuesday, June 22 to conduct court-authorized law enforcement activity.” The spokesperson declined to comment further “due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.”
Mother Jones could not confirm that the search was related to Dickson’s work with Giuliani. Dickson, the founder of a company that describes itself as “the world’s premier seed-to-consumer cannabis organization” and other ventures, did not respond to multiple email, text, and phone messages.
Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani for a suspected violation of foreign lobbying laws in regard to his efforts in Ukraine, where he worked with former Ukrainian government officials and alleged Russian agents to gin up allegations about Joe Biden that Giuliani and former President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine’s government to investigate.
Dickson last year worked with Giuliani, then Trump’s personal lawyer, to secure investors for what they pitched as a documentary about Hunter and Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine. One source familiar with the project said Giuliani envisioned the film as the culmination of his efforts and a possible “kill shot” to Biden’s presidential campaign. Tim Yale, a California Republican operative and fundraiser with ties to Roger Stone, the longtime Trump adviser and dirty trickster, and former California GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, was also involved with the film effort. Yale did not respond to phone and text messages.
The movie was never made, and it is unclear if the project raised any funds. But the three men were seeking minimum investments of $1 million and considered selling shares in the project to people outside of the United States, according to documents prepared for potential investors and obtained by Mother Jones. A draft note purchase agreement for the film contains a clause regarding the obligations of any “Non-United States person” who signed up as an investor for the film, and a source told Mother Jones that the men were seeking financial backers abroad. Last year, lawyers told Mother Jones that raising money abroad for a movie that could be seen as aimed at influencing the 2020 election could violate campaign finance laws or the Foreign Agents Registration Act, if the investors were tied to foreign governments.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, last year said the men had not “raised or solicited” any money from “any foreign citizens.” Costello said Thursday night that he was not aware of the search of Dickson’s home and whether it related to Giuliani.
The federal investigation into Giuliani’s work in Ukraine remains active. FBI agents searched his home and office in April. At the same time, they also seized a phone from Victoria Toensing, a lawyer who worked with Giuliani on his effort to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine. Giuliani told Mother Jones earlier this month that investigators suspect him of “one act of failing to register as a foreign agent.” He said it related to his interactions with Yuriy Lutsenko, a former Ukrainian prosecutor who issued and later rescinded allegations about Biden that Giuliani and Trump pushed Ukraine’s government to probe. Giuliani called the Justice Department’s actions “completely dishonest, completely corrupt,” adding, “They should be investigated.”
A New York appellate court suspended Giuliani’s law license on Thursday over another matter, citing “demonstrably false and misleading” statements he made in court and elsewhere about the 2020 election.