Rudy cronies likely to face new charges

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY STEPHEN REX BROWN

Pros­e­cu­tors ex­pect to bring new charges in a case against two Rudy Gi­u­liani flunkies im­pli­cated in the for­mer mayor’s shady diplo­macy in Ukraine.

Lev Par­nas and Igor Fru­man are charged with us­ing a shell com­pany to make $325,000 in il­le­gal straw do­na­tions to a pro-Trump po­lit­i­cal com­mit­tee. They also al­legedly do­nated $20,000 to for­mer GOP Rep. Pete Ses­sions as part of a pres­sure cam­paign, which was ul­ti­mately suc­cess­ful, to have Pres­i­dent Trump re­move Marie Yo­vanovitch as am­bas­sador to Ukraine.

The al­le­ga­tions are at the heart of the im­peach­ment in­quiry into whether Trump abused his of­fice for po­lit­i­cal gain by push­ing Ukraine to in­ves­ti­gate Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial con­tender Joe Bi­den. Pros­e­cu­tors are re­port­edly in­ves­ti­gat­ing Gi­u­liani — who has ties to the Soviet-born busi­ness­men — as part of the crim­i­nal probe.

“Cer­tainly the govern­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing,” As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Dou­glas Zolkind said Mon­day in Man­hat­tan Fed­eral Court.

“We think a su­per­sed­ing in­dict­ment is likely, but no de­ci­sion has been made,” he added.

Zolkind did not spec­ify what the new charges could be or whether other in­di­vid­u­als would be charged in the case.

Since the charges were re­vealed in Oc­to­ber, pros­e­cu­tors have been gath­er­ing a vast amount of ev­i­dence from elec­tronic de­vices and else­where. One hard drive of ev­i­dence con­tained 70,000 pages — and it’s pos­si­ble that’s not even the ma­jor­ity of pa­per­work, Par­nas at­tor­ney Joseph Bondy said.

Au­thor­i­ties seized eight cell phones from Par­nas. They seized three cell phones and a satel­lite phone from Fru­man. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Fru­man, as well as two other men charged in a re­lated scheme, David Cor­reia and An­drey Kukushkin, were not present for the hear­ing.

Par­nas is ea­ger to turn over Ukraine-re­lated doc­u­ments to Democrats con­duct­ing the im­peach­ment in­quiry, but pros­e­cu­tors cur­rently have most of the ma­te­rial, Bondy said. The lawyer vowed to give Congress the miss­ing records as soon as pros­e­cu­tors re­turn them.

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