Manhattan federal prosecutors seized email and iCloud accounts from two Ukrainians and the electronic devices of a third in their investigation into Rudy Giuliani, a defense lawyer said in botched redactions in a court filing.
Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York have seized the email accounts of two former Ukrainian officials, ex-prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko and tax service chief Roman Nasirov. They also seized the iPhone and iPad of Alexander Levin, a Ukrainian businessman who put two associates of Giuliani’s in touch with a powerful Ukrainian oligarch.
In a filing, Joseph Bondy, an attorney for Lev Parnas, accidentally revealed statements he had made under seal by blackening lines in the court document while leaving it possible for them to be copied and pasted to another file, CNN first reported.
Parnas, who was charged in October 2019 with campaign finance crimes relating to his work for Giuliani, had asked in a May 20 motion for access to information that the government seized, saying that it could be helpful for his defense.
Bondy wrote in the letter that during discussions over what material he might be able to access, prosecutors told him on May 14 that, beginning in November 2019, the government had seized “accounts and devices not belonging” to Parnas and Igor Fruman, a co-defendant in the case and fellow Giuliani associate.
The government provided a chart, Bondy wrote, which purported to show at least some of the warrants in the investigation to date. Those included seizures of Lutsenko’s and Nasirov’s email accounts, Levin’s devices, and “historical and prospective cell site information” for Toensing and Giuliani.
All of this was revealed by highlighting blackened sections of text, copying, and then pasting the full, unredacted text to a new document.
Lutsenko played a key role in Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s 2019 firing. Text messages that Parnas gave to the House Intelligence Committee show Lutsenko pushing the Giuliani associate for her firing, tying it at times to his announcement of damaging information about the Bidens.
Nasirov, another former Ukrainian official who met his downfall amid corruption allegations, reportedly helped to fund a $10 million loan for a project that Parnas was working on. Nasirov also attended Trump’s 2017 inauguration.
Here's Nasirov pictured at Trump's inauguration. Whether he used state funds to travel there briefly set off a minor scandal in Ukraine https://t.co/1tleBagnJo pic.twitter.com/Skj2liZLTh
— Josh Kovensky (@JoshKovensky) January 16, 2020
Bondy has argued that Parnas is a victim of selective prosecution by the Trump DOJ, and named a list of people who he believed would appear in evidence gathered from the seizures.
Those include, beyond Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, “the former President, former Attorney General William P. Barr, high-level members of the Justice Department, Presidential impeachment attorneys Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and others, Senator Lindsey Graham, Congressman Devin Nunes and others.”
Bondy added that the evidence would likely come in the form of “e-mail, text, and encrypted communications.”
Manhattan federal prosecutors asked last week for District Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York to appoint a special master in the case, who would independently sort out what information could be used as evidence and what would be unusable due to Giuliani and Toensing’s status as attorneys.
Prosecutors revealed that they had seized 11 devices from Giuliani personally and seven from his company, Giuliani Partners LLC. They did not reveal the identity of other targets.
None of the three Ukrainians have been accused of wrongdoing by the feds.
The botched redactions are bolded below:
In response, by letter dated May 14, 2021, the Government advised defense counsel for the very first time that, beginning in early November 2019, it had applied for and obtained a number of other search warrants and the returns on these warrants, which were yet to be produced in any form and all related to accounts and devices not belonging to the defendants. See 5/14/2021 Government Letter to All Defense Counsel (Exhibit A). We learned that the disclosure of materials seized pursuant to these warrants was delayed by Order of this Court on November 8, 2019, and then again on multiple occasions, including most recently on March 26, 2021, when the Court extended the Order to June 30, 2021. Id.
In a chart, the Government identified that it had sought and seized a variety of undisclosed materials from multiple individuals, including: the iCloud and e-mail accounts of Rudolph Giuliani (11/04/19); the iCloud account of Victoria Toensing (11/04/19); an email account believed to belong to former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko (11/6/19); an e-mail account believed to belong to the former head of the Ukrainian Fiscal Service, Roman Nasirov (12/10/19); the e-mail account of Victoria Toensing (12/13/19); the iPhone and iPad of pro-Trump Ukrainian businessman Alexander Levin (02/28/2020 and 3/02/2020); an iCloud account believed to belong to Roman Nasirov (03/03/2020); historical and prospective cell site information related to Rudolph Giuliani and Victoria Toensing (04/13/2021); electronic devices of Rudolph Giuliani and Giuliani Partners LLC (04/21/2021); and the iPhone of Victoria Toensing.
The filing is available below: