Prosecutors seek to revoke bail of GOP insider Lev Parnas after discovering $1,000,000 payment from Russia
U.S. attorneys have asked that bail be revoked for Rudy Giuliani associate and Republican fundraiser Lev Parnas after learning that he received over $1 million from Russia. That money, which was paid into an account controlled by Parnas’ wife shortly before his arrest, was not revealed to prosecutors when Parnas’ bail was granted following his October arrest.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, prosecutors filed a letter in federal court on Wednesday evening asking that Parnas’ bail be revoked. The $1 million lump sum from Russia is listed as part of more than $1.5 million from unlisted sources in Russia and Ukraine. Parnas’ attorneys have asked for time to respond.
Parnas and frequent partner Igor Fruman were indicted on a raft of charges, including the use of a front company to disguise illegal foreign campaign payments that were funneled to Republican candidates across the country at both state and federal levels. Those who benefited from money coming from these illegal funds—funds that appear to tie back to an oligarch who is part of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle—include Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes, and other Republicans taking part in the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.
Since that initial indictment, it has been made clear that the case is still wide open, with additional charges—and additional individuals—likely to join the case. Multiple sources have indicated that those under scrutiny include Giuliani. Giuliani himself received at least $500,000 that was directed through an LLC controlled by Parnas. It’s unclear just how much money Giuliani has taken through his involvement in Ukraine, or who is funding his ongoing efforts to find Ukrainians willing to help out with Trump’s corrupt investigations into his political opponents.
Parnas has provided some documents to the House Intelligence Committee in response to a subpoena after a court ruling freed his attorneys to release information. Fruman has refused to produce any material.
When they were arrested, Parnas and Fruman were attempting to fly to Vienna. Giuliani was supposed to meet them there later the same day, but halted his flight following the arrest. Vienna is home base to Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who has been indicted in the United States and whom Australian officials had cleared for extradition. However, the United States mysteriously stopped seeking to deport Firtash following Trump’s election. As with the halting of approved aid to Ukraine, the White House has been absolutely silent when asked by both Democratic and Republican officials about its refusal to go after Firtash.
Vienna is also the location to which, Parnas reported, Rep. Devin Nunes went, along with assistants, to research Ukrainian corruption and meet with former Ukrainian officials. Nunes has denied that those meetings occurred, and even denied being in Vienna— even though congressional expense reports contradict his claims.