Political News

Giuliani associate to take the Fifth on campaign finance payments

Posted November 25, 2019 6:00 p.m. EST

— Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas said in a new court filing Monday that he would take the Fifth Amendment during a December hearing and decline to answer certain questions about his campaign donations.

Parnas is set to testify in a federal court in Florida on December 13 about his previous campaign finance payments during a hearing that could last up to three hours, according to a new order setting his deposition.

The news that Parnas will assert his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination comes after a federal judge in Florida last month ordered that Parnas could be questioned under oath in the coming weeks about allegations he covered up his financial transfers to Republican political groups.

The hearing, part of a civil proceeding after Parnas failed to pay back an investor, is slated to involve questioning about a loan he took years ago and hasn't repaid. He owes a family trust more than $500,000, and the trust has gone to court to enforce the payment.

In that pursuit, the family trust has collected information about Parnas' more recent financial dealings, including what they allege to be money he fraudulently transferred to his corporate accounts, to the Trump PAC America First Action, to the National Republican Congressional Committee and to Pete Sessions for Congress, according to the court filings.

Lawyers for the trust had asked to question Parnas under oath "about his assets and the alleged fraudulent transfers."

Parnas' attorneys have asked the federal judge in Florida to pause the civil proceedings while he faces 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 other charges related to him, though their exact approach is unknown.

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