Rudy Giuliani’s indicted associate Lev Parnas has hinted at a potential change of heart toward the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry.
Parnas and his business partner Igor Fruman were subpoenaed for testimony and documents by the House inquiry last month after their then-lawyer John Dowd said there was “no response planned” to investigators’ request for voluntary cooperation.
Now, Parnas’ new lawyer Joseph Bondy is singing a slightly different tune.
“We will honor and not avoid the committee’s requests to the extent they are legally proper, while scrupulously protecting Mr Parnas’ privileges including that of the Fifth Amendment,” Bondy told Reuters.
Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani look for political dirt in Ukraine until last month, when they and two others were charged with a conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. They’ve pleaded not guilty, but there’s been no sign until now that they’re planning to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. Parnas and Fruman would immediately be star witnesses if they decided to play ball.
Bondy’s statement is far from a promise to cooperate. After all, another Parnas attorney surprised prosecutors in court last month with the assertion that Parnas’ case might raise executive privilege questions, requiring the Department of Justice or its Office of Legal Council to weigh in.
“He worked for Mr. Giuliani, who worked for the President,” attorney Edward MacMahon told the court, claiming that Trump might have attorney-client privilege or executive privilege concerns in the case.
The issue was tabled that day, but the multiple intersecting interests behind Parnas’ work as an international fixer promise to make any potential cooperation a thorny issue.