Giuliani associate in campaign cash probe seeks Barr recusal

Clay Curtis
January 21, 2020

In a letter sent to Barr and filed in NY federal court, where Parnas is facing trial for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, Parnas's attorney said Barr's involvement in the case has resulted in both harmful perceptions and "actual harm to Mr. Parnas".

"Given the totality of the circumstances, we believe it is appropriate for you to recuse yourself from the ongoing investigation and pending prosecution of Mr. Parnas", reads the three-paged letter, which was signed by his defense lawyer Joseph Bondy.

When asked earlier in the interview about the text messages between Nunes' aide and Parnas, Cornyn appeared to characterize the indicted Giuliani associate - who claimed last week that Trump "knew exactly what was going on" - as a "grifter".

The messages show that Harvey was far more involved than previously known in Parnas and Giuliani's freelance investigation into Ukraine matters, including their theory that Joe Biden had corruptly influenced an investigation into a gas company where his son sat on the board.

"Attorney General Barr was basically on the team", he added.

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A spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney's office, which is prosecuting Parnas, declined to comment.

Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman are both now under indictment on campaign finance charges, in part relating to donations to a Trump-supporting SuperPAC. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Parnas and a second man, Igor Fruman, were carrying one-way tickets to Vienna when they were arrested at Dulles Airport outside of Washington on October 9. Parnas last week accused the president of being informed of his actions and outlining a quid pro quo with Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has promised to investigate whether the ousted ambassador to Ukraine was being spied on by President Donald Trump's supporters, but said that if so, he was unaware.

NBC News has previously reported that Barr was briefed by federal prosecutors in NY on the then-undisclosed case into Parnas when he took office earlier past year.

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