Allies of former US President Donald Trump are feeling uneasy and concerned about what could come next for them after the apartment and office of his one-time lawyer Rudy Giuliani were raided last week.
Agents conducted a search warrant on Wednesday of Giuliani's New York City apartment and office where they seized electronic devices, escalating a criminal investigation into his business dealings in Ukraine. Giuliani denies any wrongdoing.
A former adviser for Trump told CNN the raid is proof officials are willing to go after his inner circle and investigate the former President more than his allies previously thought.
"This was a show of force that sent a strong message to a lot of people in Trump's world that other things may be coming down the pipeline," they said.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James is currently conducting a civil probe into allegations the Trump Organisation inflated the value of Trump's personal assets to get access to loans and tax benefits.
Although the adviser described the raid on Giuliani as "overkill", they added it ignited a sense of fear for those close to Trump since it shows investigators are more willing to pursue investigations than before.
"I can't for the life of me think why you would need to send seven FBI agents to go and collect a cellphone and laptop," they said.
Two other people close to Trump echoed these sentiments, CNN reports, but didn't want to be quoted for the story.
Giuliani's lawyer Robert Costello called it a "corrupt double standard" that investigators didn't also execute a search warrant against President Joe Biden's son Hunter, who is under scrutiny from Republicans for his ties to Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
"This contrasts with multiple proven incidences of failure to file as a foreign agent contained on the Biden hard drive which the FBI and the Department of Justice has ignored," Costello said in a statement last week.
"This behavior of the justice department, enabled by a compliant media, running roughshod over the constitutional rights of anyone involved in, or legally defending, former President Donald J Trump is becoming the rule, rather than the exception."
Costello claims investigators "left behind the only electronics that contain evidence of crimes, the Hunter Biden hard drives". Giuliani had offered them "on several occasions" but the agents "steadfastly declined".
"Keep in mind that the agents could not read the physical hard drives without plugging them in, but they took Mr Giuliani's word that the hard drives were copies of Hunter Biden's hard drive and did not contain anything pertaining to Mr Giuliani."
Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has predicted Giuliani will turn against the former President if prosecutors tighten the screws on him.
"Do I think Rudy will give up Donald in a heartbeat? Absolutely," he told CNN last week.
"He certainly doesn't want to follow my path down into a 36-month sentence for something as innocuous as a hush-money payment, right, to a porn star… at the direction and for the benefit of Donald J Trump."
Cohen, who once said he'd "take a bullet" for his former boss, became a Trump critic in 2018 after the FBI raided his home, office, and hotel room as part of an investigation that later resulted in charges of tax fraud, false statement to a bank, and campaign finance violations.
Cohen pleaded guilty to these and he is currently serving a three-year prison sentence under house arrest.