Special Master Barbara Jones Turns Over Rudy’s Chats

After much delay, the Special Master reviewing Rudy Giuliani’s phones, Barbara Jones, has released an update. It reveals that she released a bunch of materials to DOJ on January 19.

Those include:

  • The balance of 25,629 chats and messages that post-date January 1, 2018 from one of Rudy’s cell phones
  • From that same phone, 56 chats and messages that Rudy had initially claimed privilege over but for which he either withdrew or chose not to challenge Jones’ designation that they were not privileged
  • 3,204 chats and messages from between December 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019 from Rudy’s other devices, none of which he said were privileged (there should be eight devices; FBI seized 16 devices total)

These releases are in addition to 2,223 items from seven phones reviewed last year.

I find the last bullet most interesting. The known scope of the Ukraine warrants targeting Rudy go from August 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019; the review described in this update doesn’t even cover the full time frame of those warrants. The timeframe of this review is more consistent with a review covering the tail end of the Mueller investigation than the Ukraine investigation.

But they might prioritize such reviews if they were worried about tolling statutes of limitation.

In any case, by my read, all of Rudy’s texts and messages from that period — December 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019 — would have been reviewed for privilege.

Update: TF has convinced me the narrowed date for the most recent review might better reflect a narrowed period of the known Ukraine warrants — that is, just the six most interesting months. I think his argument may be more persuasive than mine in the italicized language, above.

56 replies
  1. JohnForde says:


    Now we need 3 strong documents TDFG was told his plan was corrupt:
    1. WH counsel threatens to resign
    2 Bill Barr told him
    3 Kris Krebs told him

  2. BobCon says:

    Does this warrant only cover what is physically in the device memory, or does it encompass separate connected data in cloud accounts too?

    For example, if an Apple Store backed up the phone before fixing a screen, and then RG never deleted the cloud backup, would unique cloud data be a part of this warrant? Or would there be a separate warrant or subpoena needed? And if so, would that be directed to RG or Apple?

    If Apple is called on for RG’s data, does RG get notification from either Apple or DOJ?

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I’m pretty sure that Marcy wrote that the iCloud warrant was issued well before the physical devices were seized, just as in the Michael Cohen case. They had several months to review that prior to the “raid” on RG’s office

    • obsessed says:

      lol – if there were really no butt dials, is there some 11-dimensional chess reason for Rudy to have intentionally left all those apparently embarrassing butt dial messages? Is it the play dumb on purpose defense?

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    The URI Rams play selection crushes two seditionists

    “PROVIDENCE — The University of Rhode Island voted Friday to revoke honorary degrees previously awarded to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.”

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      I tried watching Trump’s ‘rally’ on Saturday (I try to stay informed) but had to turn it off after maybe a minute… it was like having an ice pick jammed repeatedly in my ear…

      I came across a supercut of ‘highlights’ from the rally on Twitter last night that included the former guy miming masturbation on camera and claiming his opponents murder live babies… such repulsive, terrifying people… it’s hard to capture the insanity of what I’m seeing in words…

      Where’s Hunter Thompson when you need him?

      • Bay State Librul says:

        “I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” HST

        And that’s not Harry S Truman.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          I’ve probably read ‘Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas’ 15 or 18 times…

          For years and years, it was my go-to book, when I’d get really depressed… I’d start to read it… and start laughing… then laughing a little more… and a little more… and then I’d be okay, again…

          “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive…”

          Lord, I miss his writing…

          The mind, it boggles, thinking about what he would do w/ material like Trump to work w/…

          • JohnForde says:

            Hell, I forgot all about this beer; you want one?”
            He shook his head.
            “How about some ether?” I said.

          • YancyFaith says:

            Appreciate the suggestion for reading Fear and Loathing to possibly fight off bouts of depression. Can’t hurt, might help.
            Rough time of it already this year. When it rains, it sure seems to flood. Only 11 months+ to go!
            (Remember when we couldn’t wait for 2020, I think, to be over? It seems to have become a perpetual situation, though certainly not as bad as it was during the Trump administration. So far…)

      • Fran of the North says:

        Dead unfortunately, otherwise I’m sure that ‘Fear and Loathing on the Rally Trail’ would be nearing publication.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:


          His health was failing… too many years of living the life he lived…

          IIRC, he left instructions to have his remains cremated and the ashes fired out of a cannon…

          I guess he wanted to go out w/ a big bang…

        • BobCon says:

          In honor of Joan Didion’s passing, think about tracking down a copy of her essay Insider Baseball, about her time following the 1988 campaign.

          She scalpels apart the vapidity of the political press and the efforts of candidates to appease them. And of course nothing has changed over the ensuing decades, not with the rise of the internet, cable TV and Murdoch.

          It’s mind boggling how the brainiacs running political coverage have been so manaically resistant to change through all of the change since then — the fall of the Iron Curtain and the rise of China, the internet revolution and the emergence of smart phones, the power of data. And yet we get Haberman and Peters and Dilanian and Kraushaar stuck in a mindset that the world boils down to Bush the WW2 vet challenging Dukakis’s right to drive a tank.

            • BobCon says:

              It’s also in her essay collection Political Fictions which is in a lot of libraries and that is well worth reading. Used copies aren’t expensive.

          • Tippi’s G says:

            I should probably read it. That election year was the dawn of my political awareness after almost 8 years of Reagan had sharpened my mind a bit. And I noticed a disturbing trend in network coverage.

            The anchor would often introduce and play a short clip of GHWB speaking, followed by a no sound clip of Dukakis speaking with the anchor’s voiceover telling us what he was saying. That troubled me a lot.

            • P J Evans says:

              I remember, in 1992, a Lubbock TV station (the ABC affiliate, IIRC) running a story on political ads which include 3 GOP ads and one Dem ad. Just a little one-sided….

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Even more disconcerting than the manchild’s aggressively-expressed insanity is the instant wild cheering. I think psychology has not yet fully explained the phenomenon.

  4. Yohei72 says:

    As many people have said, I’m starting to really regret joining Twitter. I spend almost as much time arguing with “GARLAND IS DOING NOTHING!” hysterics as with MAGA cultists, and it gives me headaches and makes my stomach cramp up. I just linked Marcy’s fisking below of the WaPo article that contradicts its own claim that DOJ isn’t investigating Trumpworld. I got in response (paraphrased slightly), “Oh, the DOJ asked somebody a question? Big deal!” Because one certainly doesn’t investigate conspiracies by asking questions of conspirators you have in custody.

    • Yohei72 says:

      Although on second thought, maybe I’m being a tad harsh. The MSM, as extensively documented here, is gaslighting the American people pretty hard on what’s happening with the DOJ and Jan. 6. Honestly, if I didn’t read EW, I’d probably have bought into a lot of the anti-Garland hype.

      But the latest hysteric I’ve been debating is extra-aggressive in their ignorance. I told them they were achieving nothing but spreading nihilism and despair, and that “the right wing would pay you to post stuff like this, but you do it for free.” Although the latter may be a slightly generous assumption.

    • rosalind says:

      yeah, i overhauled my twitter feed at the beginning of the year. looked at how many people RT the same thing into my feed. i stopped following a bunch of people, and muted several words and names, i.e. “Madison Cawthorn”,”Kristin Sinema”, “Joe Manchin”. i will still gets news about those 3 in my feed, but at a much reduced rate.

      i’ve found i still get news i’d like to receive, but not the repeated innundation of the same thing over and over.

      • P J Evans says:

        I don’t follow anyone on Twitter, but I have a lot of people bookmarked, and there’s about 20 I check regularly. Including EW.

        • YancyFaith says:

          If you aren’t already doing so, try out Twitter Lists.

          Among other benefits, you can have as many lists as you want to create. I have lists for Hurricane-related accounts, people I want to spy on (former Twitter “friends” who turned out to be mega MAGAs,) and any other categories I create. You can even make lists private, too, which is helpful on MAGA spying lists.

    • Frank says:

      I’m telling people that nobody saw the Seditious Conspiracy indictments coming. We didn’t even know the grand jury had been impaneled. Everyone was blind-sided. Us. The press.


      Marcy is following this stuff closer than anyone, and she didn’t even know.

      Which means that Garland is:
      1. Going after everyone who was involved
      2. Hitting them with maximum charges
      3. Running an airtight ship

      Remember, Seditious Conspiracy has a 20-year maximum prison sentence.
      Insurrection is only 10
      Treason 5

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Frank” or “Franklin.” Your last visit here you commented under username “Za”; pick a differentiated name and stick with it, please. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • bmaz says:

        This is absolute garbage. A lot of people had a grip on what was going on, including multiple people here at this blog. Do yourself a favor and do not blurt out what “you” think we do not know. It makes you look like an idiot.

        Also, too, what Rayne said.

  5. Leoghann says:

    Marcy, your blurb on the main page says, “Special Master Barbara Jones has now made over 30,000 items seized from Rudy’s phones to investigators.” I think you meant to say “seized . . . _available_ to investigators.

  6. Molly Pitcher says:

    from The Daily Beast: Trump Allies Dug for Dirt on Republican Congressmen to Make Them Back Election Audits, Says Whistleblower

    An ex-whistleblower turned Republican Senate candidate is lifting the lid on an alleged dirty-tricks plot carried out by allies of Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. According to The Guardian, Everett Stern—a candidate for the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania and head of intelligence firm Tactical Rabbit—has informed the FBI that Flynn allies attempted to recruit him to gather potentially damaging “intelligence” on top Republicans in order to cajole them into backing election audits in states where Trump lost in 2020. Stern alleges that, in April, two Flynn allies with the right-wing Patriot Caucus group contacted him to seek compromising information on two Republican congressmen—Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who both backed Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol riot. Stern told The Guardian he has passed texts and emails about the alleged plot to the FBI. Flynn’s office didn’t comment on the report.

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