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Judge says Giuliani associate can give Congress impeachment probe data

A federal judge ruled Friday that Rudoplh Giuliani's business associate Lev Parnas can provide subpoenaed information to House impeachment investigators.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A federal judge ruled Friday that Rudoplh Giuliani's business associate Lev Parnas can provide subpoenaed information to House impeachment investigators.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled that Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, can give Congress phone data and documents related to the impeachment investigation.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken granted the application Friday from Parnas' attorney Joseph Bondy, which sought permission to give lawmakers the data and documents that federal prosecutors seized after his October arrest.

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The House intelligence committee issued a subpoena for the materials in its impeachment inquiry, Bondy said.

Bondy said he expects the data to include documents from Parnas' Florida home and a complete readout of his iPhone, though he has not disclosed specifically what the relevant information will be.

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"Review of these materials is essential to the Committee's ability to corroborate the strength of Mr. Parnas' potential [impeachment] testimony," Bondy wrote to the court last week.

Giuliani is not named in the indictment charging Parnas and Igor Fruman, another associate of the former New York City mayor.

Prosecutors said Giuliani recruited Parnas and Fruman to help Trump dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine, who polls show as a potential leading opponent against him in the 2020 election.

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The two foreign-born, Florida-based political donors, Parnas and Fruman, were charged with violating campaign finance law and arrested in October. Prosecutors allege they made donations to U.S. politicians on behalf of foreign interests and filtered foreign money through a bogus energy company they purported to operate.

Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty.

Bondy said he plans to review the information to determine whether to provide all of it or just some of it to the House. He noted prosecutors did not object to sharing it with the House as long as the judge approved.

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The House approved two articles of impeachment against Trump last month, but House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has insisted the investigation would continue to support the House case in the Senate trial to come to determine if Trump should be removed from office.

During the impeachment inquiry, State Department and White House witnesses identified Parnas and Fruman as Giuliani's allies in the effort to also smear Marie Yovanovitch, who was serving as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine since they viewed her as an impediment in the attempt to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's opponents.

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The House's impeachment report also showed Parnas was in touch with ranking Republican member of the House intelligence committee Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., in April, the month before Yovanovitch was removed as ambassador.

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