Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas leaves Manhattan Federal Court in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., February 3, 2020. REUTERS/ Bryan R Smith

Campaign finance trial against ex-Giuliani associate Parnas kicks off

Oct 13 (Reuters) – Opening arguments are set to start on Wednesday within the trial of Lev Parnas, a onetime associate of Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on a cost of violating marketing campaign finance legal guidelines.

Prosecutors have mentioned that Parnas hid an unlawful $325,000 donation to Trump’s unsuccessful 2020 presidential re-election bid.

The Ukraine-born Parnas and his co-defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, are additionally charged with illegally utilizing donations to U.S. politicians from a Russian businessman to acquire authorized, leisure marijuana distribution licenses.

Kukushkin and Parnas have pleaded not responsible.

The case in New York’s Manhattan federal court docket, overseen by U.S. District Choose J. Paul Oetkin, has drawn consideration due to Parnas’ ties to Giuliani, a forceful supporter of Trump’s false claims that the previous president misplaced the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden due to widespread voter fraud.

The trial might make clear how marketing campaign finance operates behind the scenes, together with throughout Trump’s re-election bid.

Ten males and 5 ladies have been chosen as jurors on Tuesday. Three of these will function alternates. learn extra

One juror who mentioned his brother labored as an actual property lawyer on the Trump Group will hear the case.

Giuliani enlisted Parnas and one other associate, Igor Fruman, to dig up grime in Ukraine about Biden and his son Hunter earlier than the election. Final month, Fruman pleaded responsible to soliciting cash from a international nationwide.

The Parnas case is separate from a federal probe into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, together with whether or not the previous New York mayor violated lobbying legal guidelines whereas working as Trump’s lawyer.

Giuliani has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing. His lawyer has mentioned Parnas’ case and the lobbying probe are unrelated.

Reporting by Luc Cohen; Enhancing by Noeleen Walder and Peter Cooney

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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