Lev Parnas (L) and his wife Svetlana Parnas depart federal court following an arraignment hearing on October 23, 2019 in New York City. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, along with Andrey Kukushkin and David Correia, are associates of Rudy Giuliani who have been arrested for allegedly conspiring to circumvent federal campaign finance laws in schemes to funnel foreign money to U.S. candidates running for office at the federal and state levels. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas can give documents to impeachment investigators, judge says

Parnas' attorney says he twice conveyed a quid pro quo on Ukraine aide “on behalf of” Pres. Trump and Rudy Giuliani


Igor Derysh
January 3, 2020 9:36PM (UTC)

A federal judge has allowed indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas to turn over documents and the contents of his iPhone seized after his arrest to the House Intelligence Committee.

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken said Friday that Parnas could turn over the materials to the committee, Reuters reported, after his attorney told the judge that an iPhone seized during his October arrest and documents seized from his home fell “within the scope” of a congressional subpoena issued by the committee months ago.

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Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy urged Oetken to allow the materials to be turned over, because “review of these materials is essential to the committee’s ability to corroborate the strength of Mr. Parnas’ potential testimony.”

Bondy has repeatedly pressed for the committee to interview his client, vowing to present “hard evidence” of wrongdoing by the Trump administration.

Parnas played a key role in Giuliani’s efforts to find damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine to help Trump’s campaign. He was a key player in the smear campaign, which led to the ouster of former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

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Parnas was indicted alongside associate Igor Fruman on charges that the two men illegally funneled foreign money to Republican campaigns, including a $325,000 contribution to a pro-Trump super PAC.

The pair have pleaded not guilty, though prosecutors have suggested they are likely to face additional charges. Giuliani is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors, as well.

It is unclear whether Democrats in Congress are interested in hearing from Parnas. The committee subpoenaed both Parnas and Fruman after their arrests as part of the impeachment inquiry. The House has already voted to impeach the president, though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has yet to send the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for the Senate trial to include additional witnesses, but Parnas was not on a list of officials whom Democrats want to hear from.

Bondy urged Democrats to interview Parnas on Twitter, vowing that his client would testify that he “twice” conveyed a quid pro quo on frozen military aid to Ukraine “on behalf of” President Donald Trump and Giuliani.

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Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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