Lev Parnas Finally Gets His Rudy Documents — But Not the Way He Wanted

A filing in the Lev Parnas case reveals that Parnas is finally going to get the Rudy Giuliani files he asked for in May.

Yesterday, the lawyer for Andrey Kukushkin wrote asking for another delay in the trial currently scheduled to start on October 4. His request was largely COVID-driven, but he also revealed that the government had just informed him that they were providing more discovery which, he claimed, he wouldn’t have time to review.

Finally, we have just come to learn that the government has not yet completed Rule 16 discovery. Monday night the government, among other things, advised the defense that it required a new storage device capable of holding 64GB of data to make another production of unidentified discovery materials, the 11th so far. We anticipate it being a week before these materials will be in the defense’s possession, if not longer. The defense will require additional time to process, review and analyze these materials, which are in addition to the terabytes of data already received by the defense.

In opposing the request, the government explained that the new discovery was, in part, files from David Correia, the former co-defendant who entered into a cooperation agreement last year, and in part, materials that Judge Oetken had granted the government a Rule 16(d) extension for.

The defendants’ second argument is that an adjournment is necessary because the Government is producing additional materials to the defendants. These materials are being produced to the defendants nearly two months before trial. They will fit on a flash drive capable of holding up to 64 GBs, and the volume of the material is a small fraction of what has been produced to the defendants over the last two years (which represents multiple terabytes of data). The majority of the materials are: (i) records from devices belonging to David Correia, which were not previously reviewed and produced because they were the subject of an appeal that was only resolved after he pled guilty; (ii) materials seized from non-parties that were subject to the Rule 16(d) extension order previously issued by this Court;1 and (iii) images and other multimedia files that were seized from devices that were previously produced in whole or in part. The Government does not believe that all of these materials are discoverable under Rule 16, and in fact the vast majority of the materials have no relevance to the case proceeding to trial in October. To the extent defense counsel has any questions about the material, the Government would be happy to discuss the materials with counsel. The defendants will not be prejudiced by the production of this material now given the amount of time before trial and the relatively small amount of material on the flash drive. Additionally, the defendants will not be prejudiced because any materials the Government intends to use in its case-in-chief from this latest production will be identified in its exhibit list that will be shared with defense counsel later this month.

1 The Government took the position that many of the materials subject to the Rule 16(d) order did not need to be produced in discovery. On May 20, 2021, the defendants requested a conference to address whether the materials were discoverable under Rule 16. The Government opposed disclosure, but represented it would produce a limited subset of material. On July 14, 2021, based in part on the Government’s representations, the Court denied the defendants’ request for the materials. The Government is now producing limited materials from these third parties’ accounts consistent with its prior representations. [my emphasis]

We know the materials withheld under a Rule 16(d) extension are the files seized from Rudy Giuliani and Victoria Toensing’s iCloud accounts (as well as those of some Ukrainians) three ways. First, that’s what Parnas’ lawyer Joseph Bondy demanded in the May 20 request referenced in the footnote. And the government’s response to Bondy’s request explained that Oetken had authorized them under Rule 16(d) to delay sharing the material with the defendants on November 8, 2019. Finally, this is the July 14 order Judge Oetken issued denying Parnas and others the materials.

More interesting than that DOJ has shared these files, though, is what DOJ said about sharing this information more generally. It claims it didn’t have to turn over all these materials and, “the vast majority of the materials have no relevance to the case proceeding to trial in October.”

As a reminder, there are four different alleged crimes at issue. There are these three, the last of which has been severed from the trial due to start in October (these descriptions are from Oetken’s July opinion).

The “Straw Donor Scheme” (Parnas and Fruman): First, the Government alleges that Parnas and Fruman conspired in 2018 to disguise and falsely report the source of donations to political action committees and campaigns, thereby evading federal contribution limits, in order to promote their nascent energy business venture and boost Parnas’s profile.

The “Foreign Donor Scheme” (Parnas, Fruman, and Kukushkin): During the same time period, Parnas and Fruman were working with Kukushkin on a separate business venture: a nascent cannabis business. Among their activities was making political contributions to candidates in states where they intended to seek licenses to operate a cannabis business. The Government alleges that Parnas, Fruman, and Kukushkin conspired to disguise a one-million-dollar contribution from a Russian national to evade the prohibition on political contributions from foreign nationals.

The “Fraud Guarantee Scheme” (Parnas): Parnas was also working with David Correia on pitching another business venture to be called “Fraud Guarantee.” The Government alleges that Parnas and Correia defrauded several investors in Fraud Guarantee by making material misrepresentations to them, including about the business’s funding and how its funds were being used.

In addition, there’s an allegation relating to Yuri Lutsenko’s efforts to get Marie Yovanovitch fired, which was included in the first indictment but taken out in the superseding one.

[T]hese contributions were made for the purpose of gaining influence with politicians so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least one Ukranian government official with whom they were working. For example, in or about May and June 2018, PARNAS and FRUMAN committed to raise $20,000 or more for a then-sitting U.S. Congressman [Sessions],


At and around the same time PARNAS and FRUMAN committed to raising those funds for [Sessions], PARNAS met with [Sessions] and sought [his] assistance in causing the U.S. Government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

The government says the vast majority of these materials don’t relate to the case being tried in October. That means these materials might pertain to Parnas’ Fraud Guarantee case — and indeed, the David Correia files almost certainly pertain to that. It makes sense that files seized from Rudy might pertain to Fraud Guarantee, too.

More interesting still, they’re highly likely to pertain to the Lutsenko charge given that that was the subject of the warrant obtained to seize them (and both the government and Oetken made clear that the government adhered closely to the scope of the warrant in searching through the materials).

That means a substantial amount of what the government is sharing is discovery on the additional charges Fruman and especially Parnas face, after they’re done with October’s trial and even after Parnas is done with a second, Fraud Guarantee trial. The government is effectively showing Rudy’s grifters what they have to look forward to in a Foreign Agent case involving Rudy Giuliani.

This is, almost certainly, an effort to convince them to plead guilty and flip on Rudy, which explains why the government is so intent on keeping the trial scheduled for October, to increase the pressure on the grifters.

16 replies
  1. Yogarhythms says:

    “an effort to convince them to plead guilty and flip.” The power of threatened detention usually works. Fraudster’s so far feel uncompelled. Perhaps this magic 64GB data thumb drive will open new insights for ocularly impaired.

    • Dave_MB says:

      Ocularly impaired. Good word choice. I had an employee call out sick with anal ocular disease. I asked her what that was and she told me that she didn’t see her ass coming in that day.

      • Leoghann says:

        I was in business, with employees, for 40 years and never heard that one. Consider yourself honored.

  2. obsessed says:

    >This is, almost certainly, an effort to convince them to plead guilty and flip on Rudy

    Can anyone explain why they’d need to be convinced to flip on Rudy? I assume that Rudy’s not flipping on Trump because he’s crazy and stubborn, but what angle could Parnas be playing?

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      They might fear that their lives could be in danger if they flip and spill the beans on everyone that they could spill the beans on. The world they have lived in is a bottomless cesspool with all sorts of dangerous creatures lurking.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      EW, is a light year ahead….

      Mr. Parnas is a Vlad operative..

      The “kgb” impaler is far worse than any American 🇺🇸 Federal Country Club.

      Vlad’s Russian Oligarchs and MBS are well positioned.

      America’s Continuing Conditioned dependency is paramount assuring a continue transference of wealth to monopoly…

      Patton was right…

      Our dependency ripens another’s grapes like rain.

      So much for a wealthy nation in debt 💸 30 T?

      We should dry them there Oil Oligarchs up like raisin just before they turn to dust.

      eV into EV…

      RIP 🪦 Vlad..
      Bye 👋 MBS

      One ☝️ Problem exists.

      Republicans are aligned with Oil…

      Slavocracy’s monopoly on energy was no different…

      It was just doing business, with all the moral hazards, not dissimilar from what we see today..

      In every way we “suffer”, those benefits inure to Putin and interests with a common self interest…

      Preservation of monopoly..:

      “Meet the new boss….”

      “Same as the old boss…”

      “We have all been here before.”

      Old stuff..

  3. Joseph Andrews says:

    Thanks for this post.

    I had (almost) forgotten about Fruman and Parnas…and your post here gets me to thinking a bit.

    And a bit of googling filled in a few of the blank spaces in those thoughts.

    There are (as of 2019) more than 100,000 employees at the US Dept of Justice!

    Those reading emptywheel were probably already aware of this rather high number (at least to me)…but I was not.

    Can anyone here hazard a guess: how many hundreds of Justice Department employees are working on Trump-related and Jan 6-related investigations?

    I remember, several years ago, reading what I would call the ‘storyboard’ that J.K. Rowling set up for one of her Harry Potter novels.

    An example is here:


    Or Joseph Heller’s storyboard for Catch 22:


    It seems like all-things-Trump could fill up SEVERAL Justice Department storyboards.

    No doubt Fruman and Parnas are on a storyboard or three in an office of the US Department of Justice?!

    I’d like to see those storyboards.

    My oh my the last president and his buddies darn sure peed in the fountain which is these United States. I’m afraid those waters are going to remain foul for years and years.

    And it of course scares me to death that most of these current investigations would not be taking place had the results of the November presidential election been different, or if the Republicans had assumed control of the US House.

    I fear that we don’t have much time…

    • pdaly says:

      I know that court cases take time to make their way through the process, but I agree with you that the midterm elections seem closer than is comfortable for certain actors to become proper defendants in criminal trials.

      BTW, your name Joseph Andrews sounds familiar. You wouldn’t happen to know a parson “Abraham Adams” would you? :-)

  4. P J Evans says:

    Back a week or so there was some discussion about “deaths come in threes”. I bring this up because I read that John Rizzo, the CIA guy, has died.

  5. Susana Venir says:

    Joseph Andrews – I keep wondering when Felix Sater is going to surface in all this as a government witness. He’s Peter Lorre to Trump’s Robert Morley in “Beat the Devil.”

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