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Parnas Asks For Recusal of AG Barr and Sends Copy to SDNY Judge Oekten

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Periscope

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 20 – Whether any US government agency engaged in wiretapping not authorized by a court in connection with the prosecution of Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin came up near the end of a conference in the case on December 2, live-tweeted by Inner City Press here. More on Patreon, here.

 On December 20 Parnas through his lawyer Joseph A. Bondy faxed US Attorney General Barr a 38 page request for recusal, and sent a copy to SDNY Judge Oetken: "Dear Judge Oetken: Attached is a courtesy copy of our request for the recusal of Attorney General William P. Barr in connection with the investigation and prosecution of Lev Parnas. We served a copy on Attorney General Barr earlier this afternoon, by fax." We'll have more on this.

 On December 17 Parnas argued against the government's requested revocation of his bail, and even for more freedom in Florida where Parnas is living. After nearly two hours of argument, things remained exactly the same, with Judge Oetken denying both sides' applications. Here's some of how it went, more on Patreon here.

 On January 11 Bondy wrote to Judge Oetken seeking formal permission to turn over more discovery documents to Congress. On January 13, Judge Oetken approved the transfer: "Modification of the Protective Order to allow production of materials extracted from certain of Mr. Parnas' electronic devices, including a Samsung phone, iPad and iPhone, to the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in connection with the impeachment inquiry of President Donald J. Trump (unopposed). as to Lev Parnas (1)...ENDORSEMENT: Granted. Defendant Lev Parnas may produce the materials referenced herein to the United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge J. Paul Oetken on 1/13/20)."  Inner City Press will stay on this - watch this site.

   The next conference in the case is set for February 3 at 2 pm. Here's the December 2 blow by blow.

Back on November 1, Igor Fruman had three requests denied, to loosen bond restrictions and have his brother Steve as a bond co-signer, all denied on November 1 by Judge Oetken. Periscope here. 

Back on October 23 Lev Parnas' lawyer raised the issue of executive privilege and the need for a US Department of Justice taint team when his client, along with Igor Fruman, were arraigned and both pleaded not guilty. Inner City Press thread here.

   Judge Oetken inquired into whether Parnas worked for President Trump - his lawyer said no - then put off the issues, and the setting of a trial date, until December 2 at 2 pm. Parnas will be under home detention with GPS monitoring in the Southern District of Florida, with no contact with co-defendants outside the presence of counsel. That's a condition co-defendent David Correia's lawyer said he intended to revisit, telling Inner City Press it was because of business relationships, see below.

 Here's some of how it went on October 23:

Judge Oetken's deputy tells the lawyers, The room is cavernous, please speak up. Now Judge Oekten says, we're hear for arraignment on a four count indictment. Asks for time of arrest and about presentment

 AUSA: Parnas will be released on a $1 million bond. Pre-trial supervision out of Southern District of Florida. Home detention with GPS monitoring; DC for legal visits. Surrender passport, no contact with co-defendants outside presence of counsel (Correia disputes)

 AUSA: Igor Fruman putting up a condo. Judge Oetken approves the bail conditions; now proceeding to the arraignment, Parnas first. He waives public reading of the indictment. Pleads Not Guilty. 

 Now Fruman pleads not guilt. Judge Oetken asks AUSA to describe the discover in the case.  AUSA: multiple search warrants, 50 bank accounts, "the investigation is ongoing."

AUSA: By the Dec 2, 2 pm  pre-trial conference US will know more. Judge Oetken: Given the volume of discovery, not setting a trial date yet. Might set it on Dec 2. Parnas' lawyer will be out of the country on that day, he says.

 Parnas' lawyer says there should be  DOJ taint team, says that there are excutive privilege issues... "hese are issues we need to be very sensitive" with, he says. 

Judge Oetken: When you say executive privilege, you're not suggesting your client worked for the President, are you? Parnas' lawyer: No, my client worked with Mr. Giuliani.

Parnas' lawyer: If information gets out then we determine it is all privileged, we've got a problem. AUSA: This is the first that we've heard of this... With respect with executive privilege, we're happy to have a conversation.

 Judge Oetken to Parnas' lawyer: if there's a particular application that you want to make, I'm all ears. Are you going to reach a protective order? AUSA: We are working on it. Judge Oetken: Anything else? Only exclusion of time under the Speed Trial Act. To Dec 2

 Judge Oetken: Okay, I'll see you all on December 2 at 2 pm. Inner City Press said it would be there- and it was. The case is US v. Parnas, et al., 19-cr-00725 (Oetken).


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