Lev Parnas Is Willing To Cooperate With Prosecutors, His Lawyer Saysl
By Chuck Ross –
Lev Parnas, the former associate of Rudy Giuliani who was indicted in October on illegal campaign finance charges, is willing to cooperate with federal prosecutors, according to his attorney.
“We very much want to be heard in the Southern District,” Joseph A. Bondy, a lawyer for Parnas, told The New York Times in an interview on Wednesday.
“We very much want to provide substantial assistance to the government.”
A federal grand jury in New York indicted Parnas and an associate, Igor Fruman, on Oct. 10 on charges that they made illegal campaign contributions to several Republican political candidates and committees.
The indictment said that Parnas and Fruman worked to remove Marie Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on behalf of an unnamed Ukrainian official.
Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty in the case, though Parnas has for months offered to provide information to House Democrats in order to help their impeachment of President Trump.
Parnas could potentially offer information regarding Giuliani, who is reportedly the target of an investigation in the Southern District of New York.
Giuliani said in a statement to The Times that Parnas is a “proven liar.”
Parnas and Fruman worked closely with Giuliani and other lawyers in Trump’s orbit to force Yovanovitch’s ouster. Trump recalled her from Ukraine in May 2019.
Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman also pushed for the Ukrainian government to investigate a company linked to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against Trump related to his actions towards Ukraine. Democrats allege that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into the Bidens in exchange for military assistance.
Parnas claimed in an interview with The Times as well as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Trump was fully aware of his efforts to remove Yovanovitch and investigate the Bidens.
“I am betting my whole life that Trump knew exactly everything that was going on that Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine,” he told The Times.
“My biggest regret is trusting so much,” he added.
“I thought I was being a patriot and helping the president,” he continued.
Many of Parnas’ claims about his interactions with Giuliani and other Republican figures have been verified by text messages that House Democrats released this week. The messages, which Parnas gave to lawmakers, show the Ukraine-born businessman discussing efforts with Giuliani to disseminate information about Yovanovitch and the Bidens.
Parnas helped Giuliani arrange interviews in January 2019 with two former Ukrainian prosecutors who claimed to have dirt on Yovanovitch and Joe Biden. Parnas was also in frequent contact with Victoria Toensing, an attorney who currently represents Ukrainian fugitive Dmitry Firtash.
The Justice Department adamantly disputed a claim that Parnas made in his interview with Maddow.
Parnas said that Giuliani, Toensing, and her husband, attorney Joe di Genova, told him that they had spoken to Attorney General William Barr about Ukraine.
“Attorney General Barr was basically on the team,” Parnas said.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec shot back with a brief statement. She said that Parnas’ claims were “100% false.”
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