•   
  •   
  •   

World Reuters Exclusive: Giuliani told U.S. his client deserves leniency for financing Venezuela's opposition - Parnas

17:55  22 january  2020
17:55  22 january  2020 Source:   reuters.com

House investigators given contents of Giuliani associate's cell phones: Lawyer

  House investigators given contents of Giuliani associate's cell phones: Lawyer Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani's associate embroiled in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, has submitted contents of his cell phones to House IntelligenceParnas' attorney Joseph A. Bondy wrote in a tweet Monday morning that the records his legal team turned over to Congress include "WhatsApp messages, text messages & images" that detail "interactions with a number of individuals relevant to the impeachment inquiry.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of President Trump’ s personal lawyer, were part of the pressure campaign on Ukraine to investigate Democrats. Rudolph W. Giuliani , left, and Lev Parnas last month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.Credit Aram Roston/ Reuters .

Guaido has not left Venezuela since February, when he defied a court-imposed travel ban and travelled to neighboring Colombia to organize a U . S .-backed effort to transport aid cargos back across the border, which was blocked by troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At a lavish August gathering at a private estate in Spain, a wealthy Venezuelan businessman under criminal investigation in the United States introduced Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, to the father of Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaido.

Rudy Giuliani et al. sitting at a table: FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Russian born businessman Parnas at Trump Hotel in Washington© Reuters/Reuters Staff FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Russian born businessman Parnas at Trump Hotel in Washington

The affair was part of a campaign for leniency for the businessman, Alejandro Betancourt, who sought to demonstrate his close ties to opposition figures looking to oust Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro - a key objective of the Trump administration.

House Dems release new impeachment evidence related to indicted Giuliani associate

  House Dems release new impeachment evidence related to indicted Giuliani associate It also includes a previously undisclosed May 2019 letter from Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the letter, Giuliani asked for a meeting with Zelensky as the former New York City mayor was pursuing investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden.The transmission, which reflects the unfinished nature of the House’s impeachment inquiry, comes ahead of an expected House vote on Wednesday to formally send the impeachment articles to the Senate for a trial.

Giuliani told Reuters in an interview that Parnas and Fruman - U . S . citizens who were born in Ukraine and He declined to respond to a request to clarify whether one or both of his clients worked for Firtash’ s legal team. Giuliani told Reuters the two men had been to Vienna - where Firtash lives

The two Giuliani -linked defendants, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas , were detained at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Wednesday evening. Fruman and Parnas appeared in court Thursday in Virginia, where prosecutors told a judge they were concerned the two might attempt to flee.

Betancourt told Giuliani he secretly helped bankroll Guaido’s efforts to take over the leadership of Venezuela, according to four people familiar with the situation, two of whom provided  details about the meeting in Spain. Betancourt hoped those bona fides would enable Giuliani, his lawyer, to persuade Trump’s Justice Department to drop its probe of Betancourt in connection with a Florida money laundering and bribery case, the people said.

A month later, at a meeting in Washington, D.C., Giuliani urged Justice Department prosecutors to go easy on Betancourt, according to a person with direct knowledge of the meeting, and Lev Parnas, a former Giuliani associate, who said Giuliani told him about it soon afterward. Parnas and the other person said Giuliani told prosecutors that Betancourt had provided assistance for Guaido’s political efforts, and was therefore doing good work for the United States.

Giuliani associate Parnas says Trump 'knew exactly what was going on'

  Giuliani associate Parnas says Trump 'knew exactly what was going on' The indicted associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said in an interview that Trump “knew exactly what was going on.”“He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials,” Parnas, who faces campaign finance charges, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Wednesday night.

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has asked at least two of its clients to make payments for Venezuelan oil via Russian state energy giant Rosneft, as it comes under pressure from U . S . sanctions, according to a PDVSA source and documents reviewed by Reuters .

MOSCOW/LONDON ( Reuters ) - Venezuela ’ s Nicolas Maduro has sought OPEC support against U . S . sanctions imposed on his country’ s oil industry, citing their impact on oil prices and potential risks for other members of the producer group.

This is the first time Parnas detailed his story about Betancourt, Giuliani and Venezuela.

Giuliani declined to confirm meeting with U.S. prosecutors on Betancourt’s behalf and wouldn’t say whether the Venezuelan businessman is a client. “Lev Parnas has no right to be talking about that meeting,” Giuliani told Reuters in a brief phone interview. “It was a confidential meeting - if it did happen.”

“Lev Parnas’s credibility is worth nothing,” Giuliani said.

The Justice Department declined to comment. Betancourt and his attorney Frank Wohl did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Reuters couldn’t determine whether Betancourt did provide financing to the U.S.-backed opposition or if he was just claiming he did.

Guaido and the main opposition political party, Popular Will, both denied receiving funding from Betancourt. Guaido was a member of Popular Will until he stepped back from it earlier this month.

Dem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism

  Dem lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that a lawyer for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) threatened to sue him if he did not apologize for saying last month that the Republican conspired with an associate of Rudy Giuliani. Lieu's comments were made in light of an interview Nunes gave on Fox News claiming he had spoken with Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate, but that he "didn't know his name."Lieu's comments were made in light of an interview Nunes gave on Fox News claiming he had spoken with Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate, but that he "didn't know his name.

Giuliani told Reuters the money came in two payments made within weeks of each other. He said he could not recall the dates of the payments. Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport outside Washington last week on charges they funneled foreign money to unnamed U . S . politicians in

Reuters Staff / Reuters . Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Sept. U . S . Attorney Geoff Berman said at a press conference Thursday that Parnas and Fruman both had one-way international tickets when

“I do not know Mr. Betancourt, there is no relationship,” Guaido told Reuters. “As such, that is not possible.”

Wilmer Guaido, Guaido’s father, denied meeting Betancourt in Spain. “I only support my son like the whole family against that criminal dictatorship but I have not met anyone,” he said.

Giuliani’s meeting with Betancourt at the Spanish estate, and his efforts to lobby the Justice Department on the businessman’s behalf, were previously reported by the Washington Post. Reuters is the first to report that Betancourt told Giuliani that he provided financial support for Venezuela’s opposition, and that Giuliani touted that alleged assistance to U.S. prosecutors as a reason to remove the legal cloud dogging his client.

The episode speaks to the complex roles that Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, has played in Washington since Trump took office in 2017.

Giuliani frequently proclaims himself a business consultant and lawyer working on behalf of private clients. Yet he also enjoys extraordinary access to the halls of power as the president’s unpaid personal attorney - work that has landed him at the center of Trump’s impeachment trial.

Lev Parnas: ‘I Felt Like My Family Left Me’

  Lev Parnas: ‘I Felt Like My Family Left Me’ In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas––an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who’s at the heart of the impeachment scandal––said he’s determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trump World regarding Ukraine despite backlash. Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for another interview set to run Thursday night. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said that Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president’s behalf.

Mr. Parnas has pleaded not guilty, and he and his attorney say his cooperation in the impeachment proceedings should earn him leniency . Trump and Giuliani . After the fundraiser, Mr. Parnas pressed the host, construction magnate Mr. Parnas said he relayed to both men that favorable U . S

Lev Parnas , an indicted Ukrainian-American businessman who has ties to President Donald Trump' s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani , is now prepared to comply with requests for records and testimony from congressional impeachment investigators, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.

Any attempt by a Giuliani client to avoid possible prosecution by claiming to have been backing an American foreign policy objective - the toppling of Maduro in this case - could prove embarrassing to the administration.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Parnas played a key role in Giuliani’s effort to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in Ukraine for Trump. Now under indictment for campaign finance violations, Parnas has been sharing information with Capitol Hill impeachment investigators, as well as the media, about the extent of the work he did for Giuliani.

Betancourt said “he was backing Guaido financially,” Parnas told Reuters, and “was helping America with his cause.”

Since January 2019, the United States and dozens of other countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president. But Maduro has remained firmly in power, much to the frustration of the Trump administration.

Don Trump Jr. says he and president met Parnas but aren't 'buddies': 'My father couldn’t pick this guy out of a lineup'

  Don Trump Jr. says he and president met Parnas but aren't 'buddies': 'My father couldn’t pick this guy out of a lineup' Donald Trump Jr. slammed the media over attempts to tie Lev Parnas to President Trump but said that he and his father had met the Ukrainian fixer. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.The president's son said he and his father had met Parnas multiple times at fundraisers but still could not "pick this guy out of a lineup." He echoed Trump’s defense that the president takes pictures with thousands of supporters, arguing that the fact that Parnas and Trump were photographed together does not mean the two worked closely.

Venezuela ’ s Only Choice Left. Juan Guaidó should harness his renewed international support to On Jan. 5, Juan Guaidó was expected to be re-elected as the head of Venezuela ’ s National Assembly The only chance left for the opposition to restore democracy is to vigorously negotiate conditions for

Parnas ' lawyer appeared to imply that because Giuliani had both represented Parnas and worked for President Donald Trump, some evidence could be subject to executive privilege. MacMahon declined to specify what kind of work Giuliani had done for his client ' s companies.

Maduro’s government cut off paychecks for opposition lawmakers in 2016 after the opposition took control of the National Assembly.

Claims that Betancourt helped finance his country’s opposition are potentially explosive in Venezuela, where the mogul forged a profitable relationship with the socialist government. Derwick Associates, his Caracas-based energy firm, obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to build power plants under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, according to local media.

'I was misled by him': Guiliani writes off Parnas claims about Ukraine work as 'stupid lies'

  'I was misled by him': Guiliani writes off Parnas claims about Ukraine work as 'stupid lies' President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani dismissed claims made by his indicted former business partner Lev Parnas, claiming they are fictional. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Giuliani, 75, responded to Parnas's claims about their work to uncover evidence of corruption by 2020 Democratic front-runner former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine during a Monday night interview with Fox News's Laura Ingraham. He was asked questions about specific accusations thrown out by Parnas during an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last week.

A lawyer for Mr. Parnas , who is facing campaign finance charges, argued that Mr. Barr had too many conflicts of interest to oversee his prosecution. Mr. Trump has denied knowing Mr. Parnas , and the White House has dismissed his comments as self-interested lies told by a criminal defendant.

Lev Parnas , a Ukrainian-American businessman and an associate of President Trump’ s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani , pleaded not guilty to breaking federal campaign finance charges.CreditCredit Shannon Stapleton/ Reuters .

In a statement to Reuters, the opposition Popular Will party said that "information about the supposed remittance of funds by Alejandro Betancourt to our political organization is not true.”

The existence of the U.S. criminal probe of Betancourt was confirmed to Reuters by a source familiar with the matter.  The Miami Herald reported last November that the investigation is linked to a large money laundering case in Miami, and that Betancourt is an unindicted co-conspirator listed, but not named, in legal records. The 2018 charges accused eight defendants of embezzling $1.2 billion from Venezuela’s government-owned oil company PDVSA, then laundering it through schemes in Miami involving false real estate and security deals.

A representative of Betancourt who declined to be identified said the magnate “didn’t do anything and he has not been charged with any wrongdoing.” He also told Reuters that the businessman had provided “very substantial” financial support to Venezuela’s opposition.

PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment.

At the State Department, Elliott Abrams, the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, told Reuters the administration is aware of the lack of transparency in the opposition’s financing.

“We’re concerned about who are all these people, and how did they make their money. And that is something we have raised with the opposition,” Abrams said.

Asked whether Betancourt was one of those individuals of concern, Abrams said: “No comment on individual names.”

FBI Took Two Months to Crack Lev Parnas’s iPhone 11, U.S. Says

  FBI Took Two Months to Crack Lev Parnas’s iPhone 11, U.S. Says The Justice Department on Tuesday rebuffed allegations by a lawyer for Parnas that the government had delayed turning over the information extracted from his phone to “frustrate” his ability to comply with requests for the data from a congressional committee. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Mr. Giuliani denied Mr. Parnas ’ s contention that he had delivered the warning at the direction of Mr. Giuliani . “We did not treat Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman as official representatives, and therefore we did not consider that they could speak on behalf of the U . S . government,” Mr. Shefir said.

He added that Giuliani had not been authorized to play any role in U.S. policy in Venezuela.

‘HELPING THE UNITED STATES’

Parnas said the August meeting at Betancourt’s estate outside Madrid, and the presence of Guaido’s father, were meant to demonstrate Betancourt’s strong ties to Guaido and his support for U.S. interests in Venezuela. It was to show Giuliani “that Betancourt is a really important person for the cause and that he is helping America,” Parnas said.

The lobbying took place in Washington the month after the Spain meeting. Giuliani met with Assistant U.S. Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, a Justice Department lawyer working on the case, and some other government lawyers, according to Parnas and the person with direct knowledge of that meeting.

Department of Justice spokesman Peter Carr, who handles communications for Benczkowski, said the department declined to comment.

The person said Giuliani was there with two other Betancourt lawyers, and made his pitch that the prosecutors let Betancourt off the hook for the case in Florida.

Giuliani first insisted there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the case. He then moved to U.S. foreign policy, pointing to Betancourt’s alleged support for Guaido. “This guy’s been helping the United States,” the person with direct knowledge of the meeting said in describing Giuliani’s reasoning.

Giuliani argued that Betancourt was crucial to the survival of the Venezuelan opposition, and he urged the Justice Department lawyers to talk to Guaido themselves to corroborate his claims, the person said.

(Reporting by Aram Roston and Matt Spetalnick in Washington, Brian Ellsworth in Caracas; Additional reporting by Paola Luelmo in Madrid; Editing by Marla Dickerson)

FBI Took Two Months to Crack Lev Parnas’s iPhone 11, U.S. Says .
The Justice Department on Tuesday rebuffed allegations by a lawyer for Parnas that the government had delayed turning over the information extracted from his phone to “frustrate” his ability to comply with requests for the data from a congressional committee. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 11
This is interesting!