Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas has turned over audio, video and pictures of Donald Trump and his personal attorney to the House Intelligence Committee.
Parnas, a Ukrainian-born Florida businessman, reportedly played a key role in assisting Giuliani in allegedly conducting shadow diplomacy in Ukraine, and by turning over the media is complying with the committee conducting an impeachment probe into Trump’s Ukraine relations.
It is not clear what the content depicts and House committees only began accessing the material last week, according to ABC News.
‘We have subpoenaed Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman for their records. We would like them to fully comply with those subpoenas,’ Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN Sunday morning.
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, turned over photo, video and audio of Donald Trump and his personal lawyer to the House Intelligence Committee
Parnas is now complying with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry, but fellow-Giuliani associate Igor Fruman as not complied with subpoenas from the committee
Parnas and Igor Fruman, another associate of Giuliani, were arrested at Washington D.C.-area airport, Dulles International, in October on grounds of violating campaign finance laws – separate charges from the impeachment probe.
At the time they were arrested, the two businessmen were preparing to board a flight with one-way tickets out of the country.
When news of the arrest broke, Trump said he didn’t know who the Giuliani associates were, but in the weeks following, reports showed Trump had met Parnas and Fruman several times and was even pictured with them.
Trump dismissed this, claiming he takes pictures with a lot of people.
‘I have pictures with everybody. I don’t know if there’s anybody I don’t have pictures with,’ he said at the time. ‘I don’t know them. I don’t know about them. I don’t know what they do.’
Lawyers for Parnas said in a statement that he will comply with congressional subpoenas.
‘Mr. Parnas has vociferously and publicly asserted his wish to comply with his previously issued subpoena and to provide the House Intelligence Committee with truthful and important information that is in furtherance of justice, not to obstruct it,’ the statement reads.
Fruman (left) and Parnas (right) were arrested last month on unrelated charges for violations of campaign violation laws
Trump insists he doesn’t know the two Giuliani associates, even though he has appeared in several pictures with one or both of them. Here he is pictured with Parnas for the 2018 Independence Day celebration
‘His evidence and potential testimony is non-partisan,’ it continues, ‘and not intended to be part of a battle between the left and the right, but rather an aid in the determination by our government of what is in the best interests of our nation.’
Sources told ABC that Parnas also provided a number of documents, both in English and Ukrainian, to the Intelligence committee.
Both Parnas and Fruman were subpoenaed last month by House committees, but they said through a statement from their attorney that they would not be complying with Congress.
Although Parnas changed his tune, Fruman has not yet cooperated with the investigation.
Parnas and Fruman, both born in former Soviet republics, worked with Giuliani to promote politically-charged investigations in Ukraine.
They also assisted the former Republican New York City mayor with his effort to get Ukraine to investigate his theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections, and helped Giuliani’s effort to dig up dirt on a Ukrainian company tied to former Vice President Joe Biden – now one of Trump’s top political rivals.
Parnas and Fruman donated $325,000 to a Super PAC supporting Trump, and Parnas attended Trump’s invite-only New York City election night event in 2016 – another link between the foreign-born businessman and the president.
A French newspaper reported, at the time, that Parnas told a foreign correspondent at the party in Manhattan that he is a friend of the then-president-elect. He said his home in South Florida wasn’t far from Trump’s winter home.
The two were charged last month in a criminal campaign finance case in the Southern District of New York for circumventing campaign finance laws against straw donations and foreign contributions, Parnas and Fruman pleaded not guilty.
According to the indictment, Parnas wanted then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to be pulled from her post earlier this year.
The White House ended up prematurely recalling Yovanovitch to the U.S. in May from her three-year assignment in Ukraine.
The impeachment inquiry is interested in looking into Parnas and Fruman’s relationship with Trump, Giuliani and their potential involvement in influencing diplomacy in Ukraine.
The past two weeks, Schiff has held open hearings for the public to hear from witnesses connected to the impeachment inquiry.
Those individuals questioned included Yovanovitch and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who said in his sworn testimony that Trump did set a quid pro quo with his Ukrainian counterpart – a main allegation from Democrats in the impeachment proceedings.