Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born associate of the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who was arrested earlier this month, initially refused to cooperate with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry — but he has had a change of heart.
According to The New York Times, Parnas’ new attorneys have signaled that their client — who was reportedly neck-deep in Giuliani’s efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine — is communicating with impeachment investigators after President Donald Trump denied their relationship.
“We are willing to comply with the subpoena to the extent that it does not violate any appropriate privilege that Mr. Parnas may properly invoke,” said Joseph A. Bondy, who along with Edward B. MacMahon, Jr. now represents Parnas. Parnas initially retained attorney John Dowd, who previously represented Trump.
“Mr. Parnas was very upset by President Trump’s plainly false statement that he did not know him,” Bondy said. Parnas maintains that he has had extensive dealings with the president, The Times noted.
Charges against the Florida-based businessman were revealed last month, accusing Parnas and three other men — including Igor Fruman, another Giuliani associate — of a scheme to illegally funnel a $325,000 contribution to a political action committee supporting Trump.
Asked about his relationship with Parnas and Fruman, the president claimed he did not know the men and said numerous photos of them together only exist because “I have a picture with everybody.”
“I don’t know them. I don’t know about them. I don’t know what they do … Maybe they were clients of Rudy. You’d have to ask Rudy,” Trump told reporters last month.