Feds did not improperly target Rudy Giuliani pal Lev Parnas: judge

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A judge isn’t buying claims by Rudy Giuliani pal Lev Parnas that his arrest was timed to keep him quiet about wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.

Judge Paul Oetken wrote that Parnas’s theory that Attorney General William Barr conspired to prevent him from cooperating with the first impeachment inquiry of Trump was “not just speculative, but implausible.”

“The theorizing of Twitters users, and Parnas’s own speculation, do not constitute evidence of an improperly motivated prosecution,” Oetken wrote Wednesday in a 17-page Manhattan Federal Court ruling.

Moreover, Parnas did eventually share documents with House Democrats investigating Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukrainian officials for dirt on then-Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Prosecutors did not object when the Ukrainian-born businessman made numerous media appearances, detailing his dealings with Trump and Giuliani.

Parnas, Igor Fruman and Andrey Kukushkin are accused of violating bans on foreign and straw donors.

In a related decision, Oetken ruled that Parnas should face a separate trial for allegedly defrauding donors in an aptly-named insurance startup, Fraud Guarantee.

The trio all have ties to Giuliani, who is under investigation for violation of foreign lobbying laws. Giuliani has denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have vowed that they will not use any evidence seized from Giuliani’s residence and law office in the trial of Parnas, Fruman and Kukushkin.

Materials seized from the former mayor, who served as an attorney for Trump, are undergoing a court-ordered review for attorney-client privilege.

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