Indicted Giuliani associate seeks White House communications
NEW YORK (AP) - An attorney for Lev Parnas, former Rudy Giuliani accused, on Tuesday asked a federal judge to order the White House and Justice Department to deliver emails or text messages setting out the ruling on the charges was discussed against his client with illegal campaign contributions.
Defense attorney Joseph Bondy filed court records to dismiss the charges. He suspected that Attorney General William Barr had orchestrated the Parnas indictment "as a means of protecting the President and preventing his potential testimony in the impeachment investigation."
Bondy also requested an evidence hearing to determine why Vice President Mike Pence and others were not being prosecuted for “inappropriate” campaign contributions.
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The US Attorney's Office in Manhattan declined to comment.
Parnas and three of his partners, Igor Fruman, David Correia and Andrew Kukushkin, were accused in October 2019 of making illegal campaign donations to local and federal politicians to advance their business and political interests.
Some of the charges involved trying to get support for a new recreational marijuana business.
Fruman and Parnas were also involved in Giuliani's efforts to get officials in Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son about his work at an energy company there.
They made substantial campaign contributions to Republican candidates and political action committees while trying to get Americans interested in the Hunter Biden investigation. Trump's efforts to push Ukraine into an investigation into the Bidens led the House to indict him, although he was later acquitted by the Senate.
When Parnas was arrested in October 2019, Democrats at the US House sought his testimony of his involvement in Giuliani's Ukrainian efforts.
Among other things, Parnas provided congressional investigators with a recording of a dinner in April 2018 at which President Donald Trump called for US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to be removed from Ukraine.
Giuliani, a Republican, said he knew nothing about illegal campaign contributions. He was not charged.
Parnas and Correia were also accused of defrauding investors in a deal called Fraud Guarantee. Prosecutors said the men misled investors about the company's strength and business model, and in some cases used the money invested for personal expenses.
In his legal filing on Tuesday, Bondy did not provide any evidence that the White House interfered with the election fraud investigation, which New York prosecutors oversee.
But he wrote that the public was skeptical.
"Millions of Americans already believe that Attorney General Barr may have interfered in some aspect of the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Parnas," Bondy said on the file.
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