New charges are likely in case against Rudy Giuliani associates, prosecutors say

Lev Parnas and his wife Svetlana arrive at the United States Courthouse in New York Dec. 2 2019

"We think a superseding indictment is likely", said a prosecutor during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for the case of Giuliani associates Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and two other men, Andrey Kukushkin, and David Correia, who are accused of violating federal campaign finance laws. "It's something we're continuing to evaluate". The prosecutor didn't elaborate on what the new accusations would be or whether others would be charged, but he said later that at least one of the defendants, Parnas, is "under investigation for additional crimes".

Clearing their way through that material - which includes electronic devices, phone records, bank records and more - would set the stage for the next steps. He said there were no wiretaps, but there were statements from witnesses.

Of the four defendants, only Parnas attended the proceeding.

Lev Parnas arrives to court in New York, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

A prosecutor said an upgraded indictment is likely in the criminal case against two Rudy Giuliani associates with ties to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian-born Parnas has been living under house arrest in Florida since his October arrest alongside three others for attempting to skirt USA campaign finance laws. Prosecutors said the donations were made while the men were lobbying USA politicians to oust the United States ambassador to Ukraine.

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Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the fast-moving impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused his office for personal political gain by pressing Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served as a director on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican, also is cooperating with prosecutors after receiving a subpoena for records and other information related to his interactions with Parnas, Fruman and Giuliani.

WSJ sources said the investigation appears to be targeting Giuliani personally, but he has not been criminally charged.

Zolkind also opposed a request by Parnas for more lenient home detention conditions, saying there's a risk he would flee because of his ties to Ukraine and a "billionaire oligarch in Vienna" now fighting extradition to the U.S. The reference was likely to Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who lives in Austria and is facing prosecution in Chicago for overseas bribery.

Joseph Bondy, an attorney for Parnas, said his client wanted to comply with the House Intelligence Committee subpoena to testify. Zolkind's comment came after Gerald Lefcourt, one of the defense lawyers, complained that the heavily redacted documents shared by the government in pre-trial exchange of records had left him with little sense of the case. But it's their work helping Giuliani dig up dirt in Ukraine that has put the pair under intense public scrutiny.

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