Lev Parnas is finally going to get his hands on the Rudy Giuliani documents his lawyers have been seeking for months -- and facing new pressure to flip on Donald Trump's personal attorney.
A new filing in the Soviet-born businessman's case shows his lawyer asking for more time to review documents seized came from Parnas' associate David Correia, who entered into a cooperation agreement with investigators after pleading guilty to fraud, and other evidence the court allowed the government to hold back, explained legal expert Marcy Wheeler at her Emptywheel blog.
"We know the materials withheld under a Rule 16(d) extension are the files seized from Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing's iCloud accounts (as well as those of some Ukrainians) three ways," Wheeler wrote. "First, that's what Parnas' lawyer Joseph Bondy demanded in the May 20 request referenced in the footnote. And the government's response to Bondy's request explained that Oetken had authorized them under Rule 16(d) to delay sharing the material with the defendants on November 8, 2019. Finally, this is the July 14 order Judge Oetken issued denying Parnas and others the materials."
The government claims the vast majority of the documents shared with defense attorneys have no relevance to Parnas' fraud trial, which remains set for Oct. 4, but Wheeler explained that they may pertain to efforts to get former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fired -- which was the basis for Trump's first impeachment.
"That means a substantial amount of what the government is sharing is discovery on the additional charges [another Giuliani associate Igor] Fruman and especially Parnas face, after they're done with October's trial and even after Parnas is done with a second, Fraud Guarantee trial," Wheeler explained. "The government is effectively showing Rudy's grifters what they have to look forward to in a Foreign Agent case involving Rudy Giuliani."
"This is, almost certainly, an effort to convince them to plead guilty and flip on Rudy," she added, "which explains why the government is so intent on keeping the trial scheduled for October, to increase the pressure on the grifters."