An indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani is providing to participate in Congress’s ongoing impeachment inquiry, though main authorized hurdles remain before lawmakers’ appear more likely to be capable of tap the potential new supply of data on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen presently beneath house arrest in Florida on marketing campaign finance expenses, is offering an olive branch to Congress after previously rebuffing a subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee last month.
“He'll adjust to a subpoena to testify as long as it doesn’t implicate some validly-held privilege of his,” stated Joseph Bondy, a New York-based lawyer for Parnas. “He’s not going to be held in contempt of Congress. He’s dealing with the subpoenas and will honor them to fullest extent attainable. Where crucial, he might invoke the fifth Amendment.”
“The underside line is he’ll sit in the chair and he might invoke the privilege and perhaps he will get immunity provided that this can be a matter of some import to national safety,” Bondy added.
Bondy additionally stated Parnas intends to adjust to a subpoena for documents the House Intelligence Committee already issued.
Lots of Parnas’ data have been seized by the FBI in raids on his residence and elsewhere across the time of his arrest final month at Dulles Airport near Washington as he prepared to board a flight to Vienna together with his business companion, Igor Fruman, who was additionally arrested.
Last month, John Dowd, a former personal lawyer for Trump, wrote to the panel on behalf of Parnas and Fruman saying that they had not been given enough time to comply and warning that the data sought embrace info “protected by the attorney-client, lawyer work-product and different privileges.”
“Other documents exist conscious of the subpoena,” Bondy stated Monday. “To the extent we now have supplies conscious of the subpoena, they will be produced.”
Bondy stated Parnas was “very upset” when Trump denied any affiliation with him after phrase broke that he and Fruman have been arrested.
“Think about just the lay of the land: you give a bunch of cash, you’re sitting with him at apparently intimate dinners, you’re seen waving at him at fundraisers and him waving again, you’re one way or the other recruited by Rudy Giuliani and in any case that — spending a heck of a lot of money on Rudy Giuliani touring or whatever — you’re sitting in a prison cell ready to be bailed out and you study the president has utterly distanced himself from you. Of course, you’d be upset,” Bondy stated.
Giuliani has not been charged within the felony case, however he has acknowledged working with Parnas and Fruman to pursue the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and to jump start a long-dormant investigation that would impression Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
Prosecutors allege that Parnas and Fruman’s aggressive drive to oust the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, was mounted on behalf of at the least one unnamed Ukrainian authorities official. The indictment additionally alleges that a number of the a whole lot of hundreds of dollars in political donations the two men made have been on the behest of an unnamed Russian businessman who needed to start out a U.S. marijuana business.
It’s unclear whether or not the complexities surrounding potential testimony from Parnas may be ironed out on a timetable that may permit him to talk to lawmakers when Democrats plan to hold open hearings later this month and probably vote on articles of impeachment quickly after that.
Granting immunity to a witness requires a two-thirds vote of a Congressional committee and is topic to a delay by the Justice Department. Lawmakers have been exceedingly reluctant to offer witnesses immunity since legal instances towards Lt. Col. Oliver North and John Poindexter have been dismissed within the Iran-Contra affair in the wake of courtroom rulings that cited their Congressional testimony.
Article originally revealed on POLITICO Magazine