Campaign finance trial against ex-Giuliani associate Parnas kicks off

imageWorld35 minutes ago (Oct 13, 2021 06:16AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas speaks outside the Manhattan Federal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., February 3, 2020. REUTERS/ Bryan R Smith

By Luc Cohen

(Reuters) – Opening arguments are set to begin on Wednesday in the trial of Lev Parnas, a onetime associate of Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on a charge of violating campaign finance laws.

Prosecutors have said that Parnas concealed an illegal $325,000 donation to Trump’s unsuccessful 2020 presidential re-election bid.

The Ukraine-born Parnas and his co-defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, are also charged with illegally using donations to U.S. politicians from a Russian businessman to obtain legal, recreational marijuana distribution licenses.

Kukushkin and Parnas have pleaded not guilty.

The case in New York’s Manhattan federal court, overseen by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetkin, has drawn attention because of Parnas’ ties to Giuliani, a forceful supporter of Trump’s false claims that the former president lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden because of widespread voter fraud.

The trial could shed light on how campaign finance operates behind the scenes, including during Trump’s re-election bid.

Ten men and five women were selected as jurors on Tuesday. Three of those will serve as alternates.

One juror who said his brother worked as a real estate attorney at the Trump Organization will hear the case.

Giuliani enlisted Parnas and another associate, Igor Fruman, to dig up dirt in Ukraine about Biden and his son Hunter before the election. Last month, Fruman pleaded guilty to soliciting money from a foreign national.

The Parnas case is separate from a federal probe into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, including whether the former New York mayor violated lobbying laws while working as Trump’s lawyer.

Giuliani has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. His lawyer has said Parnas’ case and the lobbying probe are unrelated.

Campaign finance trial against ex-Giuliani associate Parnas kicks off

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.