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Prosecutors: More Charges Possible In Case Of Giuliani Associates Parnas, Fruman

05 December 2019

Lev Parnas, an associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and a possible witness in the impeachment inquiry against the Republican President, is expected to appear in federal court on Monday in a criminal campaign finance case.

'We think a superseding indictment is likely, ' Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind said at a hearing in Manhattan federal court.

However, the prosecutor said no firm decision has been made on whether to file additional charges.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman face charges of conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records in connection with two alleged schemes to violate US election laws.

The indictment unsealed another day accused Parnas and Fruman of creating prohibited sock donations, including $325,000 into some pro-President Donald Trump political action committee.

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Giuliani has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Federal investigators have issued subpoenas for information about former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani's consulting company, Giuliani Partners, and related sources of income, the WSJ reported last Monday.

Parnas and Fruman are also accused of acting as fixers for Giuliani as he attempted to dig up dirt on Trump rival and 2020 Democratic contender Joe Biden - and of helping to expedite the ouster of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Parnas has said he played a role in connecting Giuliani to Ukrainian officials while Giuliani investigated the two Bidens.

Several witnesses have testified to the committee that Giuliani skirted US diplomacy in his communications with Ukrainian officials. An attorney for the company, William W. Taylor III, said the firm is complying with the subpoena.

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Zolkind said feds had seized a total of 14 devices from Parnas and 10 from Fruman - including a satellite phone found at his residence - following their arrest on a jet bridge at Washington Dulles airport.

That effort, and Trump's participation in it, are the subject of ongoing impeachment proceedings against Trump in the House of Representatives. Prosecutors said the donations were made while the men were lobbying U.S. politicians to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

U.S. law forbids politicians from taking foreign donations.

Lawmakers were getting their first look Monday night - behind closed doors - at the impeachment report from the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to establish an investigation of Joe Biden, his political competition, also Biden's son.

Late Monday, he tweeted his daily complaints about it all and then added a suggestive question: 'Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?'

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Departing Monday for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in London, Trump also criticized the House for pushing forward with proceedings while he was heading overseas, a breach of political decorum that traditionally leaves partisan differences at the water´s edge.

Prosecutors: More Charges Possible In Case Of Giuliani Associates Parnas, Fruman