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Giuliani’s Indicted Associate Hands Over Messages and Photos ‘Relevant to Impeachment Inquiry’


Update, 11:15 a.m.: The judge in Parnas’s SDNY case on Monday morning also allowed “production of materials extracted from certain of Mr. Parnas’ electronic devices, including a Samsung phone, iPad and iPhone, to the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in connection with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald J. Trump (unopposed).”

Parnas’s lawyer said that “contents” of the Samsung phone has been “conveyed” to the House Intel Committee, and that the rest will be handed over ASAP.

An attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted Ukrainian-Floridian business associate of Rudy Giuliani, said Monday that text messages, WhatsApp messages, and photos have been handed over to Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Joseph Bondy trumpeted the news on Twitter, where he also attached a photo of his client and President Donald Trump giving a thumbs up.

“After our trip to DC, we worked through the night providing a trove of Lev Parnas’ WhatsApp messages, text messages & images—not under protective order—to #HPSCI, detailing interactions with a number of individuals relevant to the impeachment inquiry,” he said, adding, “#LetLevSpeak #LevRemembers.”

This was a follow-up to a tweet that Bondy posted on Sunday. It said: “We brought the contents of Lev Parnas’ iPhone 11 to HPSCI today, despite every stumbling block placed in our path since @DOJ SDNY arrested him on 10/9/19. #LetLevSpeak #LevRemembers.”

For some, the upshot here is that this “[m]ight make Rudy (and his client?) and bit uncomfortable.”

It’s not clear when we will see what Parnas has brought to the table.

Parnas has pretty been anxious to tell Congress what he knows ever since President Trump said publicly that he didn’t know who he was. Before Parnas’s Oct. 2019 arrest, Trump signed off on former Russia probe lawyer John Dowd representing Parnas. After Parnas’s arrest, Trump said he didn’t know Parnas. Dowd is no longer representing Parnas.

At the time, Bondy said that the rejection “upset” his client.

“Mr. Parnas was very upset by President Trump’s plainly false statements that he did not know him,” he said. “Imagine just the lay of the land: you give a bunch of money, you’re sitting with him at apparently intimate dinners, you’re seen waving at him at fundraisers and him waving back, you’re somehow recruited by Rudy Giuliani and after all that — spending a heck of a lot of money on Rudy Giuliani traveling or whatever — you’re sitting in a prison cell waiting to be bailed out and you learn the president has completely distanced himself from you. Of course, you’d be upset.”

The sharing of this iPhone information with Congress has been in the works for some time.

Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken recently granted Parnas’s request to give the House Intelligence Committee iPhone and documentary evidence seized by the government in Parnas’s Southern District of New York criminal case.

“Granted. Defendant Lev Parnas may produce the materials referenced herein to the United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” Oetken ordered. The judge previously signaled that he would grant the request.

Bondy said the information was relevant and responsive to a congressional subpoena, and that it was important that congressional investigators had it so they could “corroborate the strength of Mr. Parnas’s potential testimony.”

“These materials fall within the scope of the September 30, 2019 letter request and October 10, 2019 subpoena of the United States House of Representatives’ Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), in connection with the presidential impeachment inquiry,” Bondy wrote.

“At present, we do not know whether we intend to produce the entirety of the materials, or a subset filtered for either privilege or relevancy. If a subset, we will inform the Court and Government as to what we have actually have produced,” he added.

As Law&Crime noted before, a bit of potential testimony that Congress will no doubt attempt to corroborate involves House Intel Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). You may remember that Bondy gave information to CNN that triggered a Nunes lawsuit.

Nunes sued over claims that he went to Austria in 2018 and met Viktor Shokin, and communicated with Parnas in Dec. 2018 “around the time of the ‘Vienna Trip.’” Nunes and his attorney said the trip “never happened.” Shokin is the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General that Joe Biden bragged about getting fired. Republican Senators also believed Shokin was corrupt and wanted him ousted.

Calls logs released in the House Intel Committee’s impeachment report showed that Nunes, Parnas, and Giuliani spoke by phone. The logs from April 12, 2019 showed Parnas called John Solomon — the then-Hill columnist who brought to the mainstream the Joe-Biden-Hunter Biden-Burisma narrative pushed by President Trump, Shokin, Giuliani, Parnas, and more. The logs also showed Parnas had a call with Nunes that lasted for more than eight minutes. Parnas then called Solomon back.

The “-1” number that showed up in logs appears to belong to the president.

Bondy previously said that, in light of the call records, Nunes should have recused himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings.

We’re left to wait and see where all of this leads.

Parnas and fellow Giuliani associate Igor Fruman — each instrumental in Giuliani’s efforts to convince the Ukrainian government to commit publicly to investigations of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Burisma — face two counts of conspiracy, one count of making false statements, and one count of falsification of records in SDNY. Authorities have alleged a “scheme to funnel foreign money” to Republican candidates, in violation of campaign finance law.

David Correia, a co-founder of Parnas’s company Fraud Guarantee, and Andrey Kukushkin were also ensnared in the criminal probe. Correia and Kukushkin were charged with one count of conspiracy. All defendants have pleaded not guilty.

[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.