Lev Parnas, one of Rudy Giuliani’s cohorts in the effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, was convicted Friday on six counts of campaign finance charges that could add up to 45 years in prison.
A jury of eight men and four women found Parnas guilty of scheming with co-conspirators to use a Russian backer’s money to fund political contributions they hoped to trade for political favor for their budding joint cannabis venture.
The Ukrainian businessman was also convicted for using money from Igor Fruman – who previously pleaded guilty — and a fake company to funnel hundreds of thousands in political contributions to GOP and pro-Donald Trump committees and then lying about it to the Federal Election Commission.
It was Parnas’ connection with Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s first impeachment that put Parnas in the public spotlight. The Ukrainian-born Parnas, described by The New York Times as a once “ardent supporter” of Trump, pressed officials in Kyiv to investigate Hunter Biden. “He was also in regular touch with Yuriy Lutsenko, who, as Ukraine’s chief prosecutor at the time, was urging the removal of [Marie Yovanovitch] the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv,” The Times reported.
That doesn’t do justice to the level of sleazy that Giuliani and probably Trump were up to with Parnas. He has also implicated Mike Pence and John Bolton.
Parnas, no longer a fan of either Giuliani or Trump, provided material to the House impeachment inquiry, including a 2018 video at a dinner at the Trump Hotel in Washington. More from The Times:
The video captured Mr. Parnas referring to Ms. Yovanovitch, saying she was a holdover from the Clinton administration who had been criticizing Mr. Trump — a claim the ambassador denied.
“Get rid of her,” Mr. Trump replied.
The following year, after Mr. Parnas was arrested, Mr. Trump denied knowing him.
Parnas’ lawyer says his client will appeal the conviction. But if under-investigation Giuliani is ever charged, I suspect Parnas will have some bargaining chips with the feds.