Attorney for indicted Giuliani associate says evidence in case could be subject to executive privilege

Catherine Garcia

A lawyer for Lev Parnas, one of two associates of Rudy Giuliani accused of illegally funneling money into U.S. elections, told a federal judge on Wednesday some of the evidence collected in his client's case could be subject to executive privilege.

Parnas and Igor Fruman have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said that over the course of executing more than a dozen search warrants, investigators gathered evidence from electronic devices, social media accounts, and email. Parnas' attorney, Edward MacMahon Jr., said that the White House could invoke executive privilege, since Giuliani is President Trump's personal lawyer and also at one point represented Parnas.

"There are issues we need to be very sensitive to," MacMahon told Judge J. Paul Oetken. "I'm not telling you I know how to resolve this." He asked that a special team of prosecutors review the evidence, and the government told the court a "filter team" is already doing this, and will notify the defense if anything is under executive privilege, which can only be invoked by the president.

Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani on his quest to find damaging information in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. People familiar with the matter say Giuliani's lobbying efforts in Ukraine are now being investigated by federal prosecutors.