Giuliani associate asks court to release material for impeachment inquiry

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- An attorney representing Rudy Giuliani's indicted associate, Lev Parnas, asked that materials seized during his client’s arrest be released to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Joseph Bondy, the lawyer for Parnas, asked a federal court in Manhattan, New York on Monday for an update on discovery in his client’s case, specifically referring to additional electronic devices that were seized in court-authorized searches following Parnas’ arrest at the Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. in October.

Federal prosecutors described the material seized from Parnas and his three co-defendants to be "voluminous" including at least 29 electronic devices.

"We think a superseding indictment is likely," Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind said, referring to the case against Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman, adding any additional charges would be brought ahead of a trial but did not specify who the target of those charges would be.

Federal prosecutors have been investigating Giuliani’s business dealings as part of the case against Parnas and Fruman, according to sources.

As ABC News has previously reported, the House Intelligence Committee is in possession of audio and video recordings and photographs provided to the committee by Parnas, an associate of Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, who reportedly played a key role in assisting him in his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The material submitted to the committee includes audio, video and photos that include Giuliani and Trump. It was unclear what the content depicts and the committees only began accessing the material last week.

Sources told ABC News the tapes were provided as part of that congressional subpoena issued to Parnas, and the former Giuliani ally also provided a number of documents both in English and Ukrainian to the committee in two separate productions, sources told ABC News.

Sources familiar with the matter told ABC News last month that some of the material sought by congressional investigators is already in possession of federal investigators within the Southern District of New York and thus held up from being turned over. It is unclear if this material is what Bondy was asking the court to release to Congress Monday."

So far, Parnas is the only defendant in the New York case to cooperate with the House Intelligence committee’s investigation.

Parnas was carrying six phones, tablets and computers when he was arrested, Zolkind said, adding that another eight devices were seized at his home.

Zolkind suggested Parnas could speed up the extraction of material from his phones if he would provide the passwords, rather than relying on the FBI’s forensic experts.

Bondy also said there are paper records in the government’s possession that his client would like to turn over.

A protective order governing the case requires Parnas to get court approval before turning over to Congress any materials seized as part of the criminal investigation.

"I expect to grant that request," Judge Paul Oetken said.

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