Lev Parnas Tells Court He Can Give Democrats Evidence Himself

Christian Berthelsen

(Bloomberg) -- Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas withdrew his request for permission to provide government evidence in his criminal prosecution to House Democrats pursuing President Donald Trump’s removal from office, saying he no longer needed the court’s approval.

Parnas said at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday that he was able to access the material directly from Apple Inc.’s iCloud without relying on a version produced by prosecutors.Parnas, who is charged with breaking campaign finance law, has been turning over evidence in his case to the House Intelligence Committee in response to a subpoena he received before he was arrested in October. He has provided Congress with two sets of evidence produced by prosecutors from his iPhone and earlier this month sought permission to disclose a third set from his iCloud account.

Prosecutors and fellow defendants in his case objected, saying the new tranche could include information protected by attorney-client privilege.

The dispute has revealed a broader rift between the defendants over how they approach the case. Parnas has gone on to give national television interviews accusing Trump of a scheme -- at the heart of the House’s impeachment inquiry and now the president’s Senate trial -- to trade American military aid to Ukraine for political dirt on Joe Biden, one of Trump’s leading rivals in this year’s election. Parnas’s main co-defendant, Igor Fruman, has largely stayed out of the limelight.

Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph Bondy, said at the hearing that the two defendants have been divided since early November on whether to cooperate with the House impeachment probe.

Parnas, Fruman and two other defendants are charged with laundering foreign funds in donating to U.S. political campaigns and masking the source of the contributions. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The case is U.S. v. Parnas, 19-cr-725, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Read More: Giuliani Allies Spar Over Giving Evidence to House Democrats

To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Berthelsen in New York at cberthelsen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Jeffrey

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