Judge rejects selective prosecution claim by Giuliani pal

Jul 14, 2021, 3:46 PM | Updated: 4:35 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge on Wednesday rejected a selective prosecution claim by a one-time associate of Rudy Giuliani who faces an October trial with two others on charges that they made illegal campaign contributions.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken made the ruling prior to a trial of Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and Andrey Kukushkin, on charges that they had a scheme to make illegal campaign contributions to politicians in New York, Nevada and other states.

Prosecutors say they were trying to win support for a new recreational marijuana business.

All three have pleaded not guilty. Messages were sent to their lawyers for comment. Todd Blanche, a lawyer for Fruman, declined comment.

Parnas had claimed the charges against him should be dismissed because he was selectively prosecuted.

He maintained he was targeted because of his national origin, his political affiliation and a government conspiracy to prevent him from exercising his constitutional rights.

The judge wrote that other individuals similarly situated to Parnas were prosecuted along with him, including two who share his national origin. As to the discrimination claim, the judge said Parnas’s argument was “not just speculative, but implausible.”

“Parnas asserts that his indictment and arrest were a means to thwart Parnas’s testimony in the impeachment inquiry of former President Donald Trump,” Oetken said. “But the theorizing of Twitters users, and Parnas’s own speculation, do not constitute evidence of an improperly motivated prosecution.

“Indeed, Parnas was, by his own admission, not cooperating with the Congressional demand as of the day of his indictment. To accept Parnas’s conspiracy theory, the Government would have to have known that, one day in the future, Parnas would change his mind and decide to cooperate with the Congressional demand,” he said.

The judge also said the conduct of prosecutors since the charges were brought undermine the selective prosecution argument.

“The Government consented to allowing Parnas to produce documents to the House impeachment committee, and it has not objected to Parnas’s media interviews and television appearances,” Oetken said.

The judge did, however, grant a request by Parnas to allow him to face a separate trial on charges that he cheated investors in a business titled “Fraud Guarantee.”

Parnas and Fruman face charges that they made sizable contributions while trying to get Americans interested in investigating Biden’s son in Ukraine. Parnas and Fruman worked with Giuliani to try to convince Ukraine to announce a probe of Biden. Giuliani, a Republican, has said he knew nothing about the donations.

Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine for an investigation of the Bidens led the House to impeach Trump, though he was acquitted by the Senate.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

54 minutes ago

Dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, center, break ground on the new ...

Associated Press

Work resumes on $10B renewable energy transmission project in southwestern Arizona despite tribal objections

Federal land managers briefly halted work on the SunZia transmission line earlier this month after Native American tribes raised concerns.

2 hours ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

3 hours ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

5 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

8 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

Judge rejects selective prosecution claim by Giuliani pal