Giuliani associate can be questioned under oath about Republican money transfers, judge says
Posted October 29, 2019 3:11 p.m. EDT
CNN — Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, can be questioned under oath in the coming weeks about financial transfers he made to Republican political campaigns, a federal judge in Florida ordered Tuesday.
The court order comes as questions swirl around Parnas' close ties to Giuliani, efforts to insert himself into Ukrainian interests and Republican politics, and as a criminal proceeding against him continues in New York. The testimony he must provide in Florida could shed new light on the scope of his payments to American campaigns and other Trump-connected entities, as well as other financial dealings.
His defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The development comes as part of a civil court proceeding and is separate from the criminal charges in New York.
Parnas is accused in a New York federal court of conspiracy and campaign finance-related violations and has pleaded not guilty to his criminal charges. The Manhattan federal prosecutors continue to consider new charges related to him, though the parameters of their investigation are unknown.
Separately, in Florida federal court, Parnas must appear within 30 days before a magistrate judge so he can be questioned about a loan he took years ago and hasn't paid back. He owes a family trust more than $500,000, and the trust has gone to court to enforce his payment.
In that pursuit, the family trust has collected information about his more recent financial dealings, including what it alleges to be money Parnas transferred to his corporate accounts, to the Trump PAC America First Action, to the National Republican Congressional Committee and to Pete Sessions for Congress -- and in turn defrauding the family trust, according to the court filings.
Lawyers for the trust had asked to question Parnas under oath "about his assets and the alleged fraudulent transfers."
Once Parnas receives notice of Tuesday's court order, he must appear within 30 days before federal Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon in West Palm Beach, Florida, US District Judge Donald Middlebrooks wrote Tuesday.
Parnas is currently under house arrest in Florida.