Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas will comply in impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, reports say

Savannah Behrmann


Published 11: 48 PM EST Nov 4, 2019

WASHINGTON – Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, has reversed field and will cooperate with a subpoena issued in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to multiple news reports on Monday. 

Joseph Bondy, one of Parnas’ new attorneys, reportedly sent lawmakers a letter last week informing them Parnas is now prepared to answer questions and produce documentation for the inquiry.

Parnas, who was born in Ukraine, and Igor Fruman, a fellow Giuliani associate, helped the former New York City mayor and ex-federal prosecutor seek damaging information in Ukraine about the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s vying to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential race. 

That has made the men potential key figures in the impeachment proceeding against Trump. The President is at the heart of a probe focused on an alleged effort to freeze U.S. military funding to Ukraine unless the country’s new president pressed investigations of Ukrainian business dealings by Biden’s son, Hunter, and also sought evidence that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Pathway of the impeachment process: How it works, where we are

“We are willing to comply with the subpoena to the extent that it does not violate any appropriate privilege that Mr. Parnas may properly invoke,” said Bondy, who now represents Parnas along with Edward MacMahon, The New York Times reported. 

Parnas, a U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, and Belarus-born Fruman were indicted last month on charges of funneling foreign money to U.S. political candidates and campaign committees. They and two other co-defendants have pleaded not guilty. 

See also  Ocasio-Cortez 'thrilled to see women taking the reins everywhere from film to Congress'

Parnas and Fruman were arrested Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport with one-way tickets to Vienna, Austria. Both were subpoenaed the next day by impeachment investigators. 

Parnas’ previous lawyer, John Dowd, a former attorney for Trump, called the congressional requests overly broad , and said Parnas would not cooperate with the investigators.

Parnas changed his mind, the Times report said, when Trump claimed he didn’t know the Giuliani associates after the two were indicted.

‘You have to ask Rudy’: Criminal case against Giuliani’s associates darkens cloud over Trump’s personal attorney, White House

“I don’t know them. I don’t know about them, I don’t know what they do,” said Trump. “But, I don’t know, maybe they were clients of Rudy. You’d have to ask Rudy. I just don’t know.”

Despite that denial, multiple photos have surfaced of the associates with Trump and other members of the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence. One photo of Trump and Parnas was taken in 2014, two years before Trump won the White House.

Parnas had previously posted a picture of himself with Trump at the White House on May 1, describing an “incredible dinner and even better conversation.”

When pressed about the photos, Trump said, “I don’t know if there’s anybody I don’t have pictures with.”

Additionally, both Parnas and Fruman have dined with Trump at the White House and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to U.S. election campaigns, including a $325,000 donation to a super political action committee formed to back Trump.

Parnas also told The Washington Post that he began his business career in real estate by selling Trump condos in Brooklyn for Fred Trump, the president’s father. 

See also  US Park Police spokesperson said it was a mistake to deny using tear gas. The acting chief then again denied using tear gas.

It was not immediately clear what documents, testimony or evidence Parnas would provide to impeachment investigators. His attorneys did not respond to multiple USA TODAY messages seeking comment.


Reuters first reported Parnas’ willingness to comply with the impeachment investigation.

Contributing: Kevin McCoy, Christal Hayes, John Fritze, David Jackson, and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Read More

Leave a Reply