Rudy Giuliani told U.S. prosecutors that his wealthy Venezuelan client deserved leniency in a criminal investigation, according to his indicted associate Lev Parnas and others.
Alejandro Betancourt, who’s reportedly an unindicted co-conspirator in a money laundering case, introduced President Donald Trump’s lawyer to the father of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, reported Reuters.
Betancourt told Guiliani at a meeting in Spain that he secretly bankrolled Guaido’s efforts to take over leadership of Venezuela, according to four people familiar with the situation.
The Venezuelan businessman hoped that would help Giuliani persuade Trump’s Justice Department to drop the money laundering and bribery case against him in Florida, the sources said.
The president’s personal attorney urged officials at the Justice Department to go easy on Betancourt, according to Parnas and another person with direct knowledge.
Parnas told Reuters that Giuliani told him about the meeting soon afterward, and he and the other person said the president’s lawyer told prosecutors that Betancourt was helping U.S. interests by funding Guaido’s political efforts.
“Lev Parnas has no right to be talking about that meeting,” Giuliani told Reuters. “It was a confidential meeting — if it did happen.”
“Lev Parnas’s credibility is worth nothing,” Giuliani added.