Lev Parnas, a former henchman to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, was found guilty on all six criminal counts leveled against him on Friday.
In a quickly rendered verdict, a jury found Parnas guilty of the most serious charge leveled against him, conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns.
Parnas was also found guilty of making false statements, falsifying records, and other crimes.
Parnas was arrested along with fellow Giuliani henchman Igor Fruman back in 2019 for allegedly setting up a shell company to funnel hundreds of thousands in Russian money to Republican candidates.
The U.S. House Ethics Committee will review allegations that U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn used his office budget to pay a business owned by his staff and that his campaign accepted free office space from a political donor, a violation of federal election law.
The decision to further investigate the congressman from Minnesota's First Congressional District follows a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, which is an independent, non-partisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of Congress and, when appropriate, referring matters to the Ethics Committee.
According to the report of the OCE: “There is substantial reason to believe that Hagedorn used official funds to contract for services with companies owned or controlled by his staff members…. There is substantial reason to believe that Hagedorn used private office space at no cost or for a rate below fair market value."
The vote to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee for more investigation was 6-0.
The OCE investigation began after Reformer contributor Dan Newhauser reported in 2020 that Hagedorn spent more than $400,000 of taxpayer money on contractors owned by his staff in one case and the brother of his former chief-of-staff in another.
Newhauser then reported for Politico that Hagedorn appeared to be enjoying rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor.
Elliot Berke, an attorney for Hagedorn, responded to the Ethics Committee chair and ranking member, alleging there were “material misstatements made to the OCE" and “unfounded conclusions reached by the OCE in its referral."
As for the free office space allegation, Berke writes that Hagedorn has been “targeted" by “leftist groups."
The Office of Congressional Ethics also found that there was “substantial reason to believe" wrongdoing by U.S. Reps. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., Mike Kelly, R-Penn., and Alex Mooney, R-W.V., on unrelated matters.
Minnesota Reformer is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Minnesota Reformer maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Patrick Coolican for questions: email@example.com. Follow Minnesota Reformer on Facebook and Twitter.
A U.S. judge will consider on Nov. 4 former President Donald Trump's claim of executive privilege in response to a document request from a congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump on Monday sued the Jan. 6 Select Committee, alleging members made an illegal request for his White House records as part of their investigation.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Trump asserted that materials sought by the House of Representatives committee are covered by a legal doctrine known as executive privilege, which protects the confidentiality of some White House communications.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was designated by random assignment to hear the lawsuit, on Friday signed off an agreement by Trump and the committee to expedite the case for a Nov. 4 oral argument.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Doina Chiacu; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
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