New: Lev Parnas is seeking permission to share a bunch of new material with House Intel, including the contents of an iPhonehttps://t.co/g1d538fbgG
— Betsy Woodruff Swan (@woodruffbets) December 30, 2019
Happy New Year’s Eve, political journalists!
Lev Parnas, a former Rudy Giuliani associate charged with financial crimes, is looking to share more material with congressional investigators, according to a letter his lawyer has sent to a federal judge. The letter, filed in court on Monday evening, indicates that the committee first tasked with helming the impeachment inquiry is gathering additional evidence about Trump World.
In the letter, Parnas’ lawyer Joseph Bondy said the Justice Department will share materials with his client on Tuesday that it seized from his home and at his arrest. The materials include documents and the contents of an iPhone. Bondy then asked Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York to allow him to share those materials with the House Intelligence Committee; a court order currently bars him from sharing them with anyone. The Justice Department has said it does not object to him giving the material to Congress…
Trump’s relationship with Ukraine—in particular through his intermediary and personal lawyer Giuliani—is at the center of the impeachment process. Parnas had a front-row seat to much of Giuliani’s Ukraine-related activity.
Federal authorities arrested Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman at Dulles Airport in October and charged them with conspiring to illegally funnel money from a foreign national into an American election. For many months before their arrest, the two worked with Giuliani to investigate allegations about former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who served for a time on the board of a scandal-dogged Ukrainian energy company…
Parnas and Fruman, both Soviet-born U.S. citizens, made hefty political contributions through an entity they started called Global Energy Partners. And they built connections on Capitol Hill; after then-Rep. Pete Sessions sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for Yovanovitch’s removal, a PAC the pair supported shelled out a huge sum to boost his re-election bid. Sessions’ name was also batted around within the Trump administration as a potential replacement for Yovanovitch, though any efforts to install him there didn’t get traction.
Parnas and Fruman have both pleaded not guilty. And Parnas indicated he would cooperate with the congressional impeachment inquiry. Because of his close proximity to Giuliani, he may have significant visibility into Giuliani’s actions that other witnesses lack. For instance, a senior Zelensky aide confirmed to The Daily Beast that Parnas was present for a meeting he had with Giuliani where they discussed the U.S.-Ukraine relationship…
Guess we’ll know from the Oval Office Occupant’s tweet-stream — or Giuliani’s — how successful efforts to hide this news from him have been. As if the festivities at Mar-A-Largo weren’t fraught enough already.
Credit for Individual-1’s obsession with appearances, though; Parnas looks exactly like the bumbling minion in a spy caper who inadvertently betrays Mr. Big, doesn’t he?