Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas requests release of 'voluminous' electronic records to House impeachment inquiry
An attorney representing Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas has asked a federal court to release electronic devices containing “voluminous” materials to House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, during a court appearance ahead of his client’s trial.
Joseph Bondy, who is representing Mr Parnas, asked a federal court in Manhattan on Monday for an update on discovery in his client’s case, specifically whether devices seized during his October arrest at Dulles International Airport in Washington might be handed over to those House committees.
At least 29 electronic devices were reportedly seized from Mr Parnas and three of his co-defendants, including another associate of Mr Giuliani, Igor Fruman.
During the hearing on Monday, assistant US attorney Douglas Zolkind said that further charges could be brought against Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman, though he did not explain what charges might still be brought.
“We think a superseding indictment is likely,” Mr Zolkind said.
The charges stem from a federal investigation into Mr Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine, where Mr Fruman and Mr Parnas are known to have connections. The two associates, meanwhile, have been charged with campaign finance violation charges stemming from an alleged effort to influence American elections.
The push for the release of documents comes after reports that the House Intelligence Committee is already in possession of audio recordings, video, and pictures provided by Mr Parnas. It is not clear what that content might depict, and the House committees reportedly only began sifting through them last week.
But some materials being sought by House investigators may already be in the hands of the Southern District of New York, and would therefore be held against being turned over.
So far, Mr Parnas is the only defendant reported to be cooperating with the Congressional investigation.
At the time of his arrest, Mr Parnas was carrying six phones, tablets and computers. Eight more devices were taken from his home.
Mr Zolkind indicated that Mr Parnas could help speed up the extraction process, by providing passwords. The judge has indicated it is likely that he would grant the request to hand over documents, which also includes paper records.
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