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In US v Parnas and Kukushkin Trial Defense Rests Without Lev Testifying But Is Muraviev a Billionaire?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Order Podcast Song II

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 19 - In the Lev Parnas and Andrey Kukushkin jury trial, the first witnesses testified on the afternoon of October 13. Inner City Press live tweeted it here and here. Vlog here.

On October 14, Parnas' lawyer Joseph Bondy accused the US Attorney's Office of racism, and AUSA Hagen Scotten of threatening him with or about a sidearm. Inner City Press live tweeted it here podcast here

On the morning of October 15, before the jury came in, the defense successfully argued to have the jury instructed that the Times Square "street fight / racist" video shown the day before is not relevant and is excluded. Inner City Press live tweeted it here, podcast here.

  After that, Adam Laxalt and exhibits fights, which Inner City Press live tweeted here and below. New song here.

    On October 18 to 1 pm, there was more cross examiation of Van Rensburg, and the beginning on Caroline Booth. Inner City Press live tweeted here (podcast here) (vlog here)

   During the afternoon of October 18, Bondy cross examined Rep Pete Sessions' (now Liz Cheney's) staffer Caroline Boothe, mortgage broker Ross and lawyer / notary Preminger. The question of Parnas testifying arose. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.

  On the morning of October 19, an argument out of hearing of the jury about what Parnas could be cross examined about, if he testified. Inner City Press live tweeted it here (and podcast here)

On the afternoon of October 19, Ahearn of America First Action was put on the stand by the defense, with whether Parnas will follow him to the stand still left open. Inner City Press live tweeted here and below.

 On the morning of October 20 - drum roll - the time for Parnas to decide to testify or not came. And... he did not. Inner City Press live tweeted it here: (and podcast here)

Judge Oetken: Have you chosen not to testify? If so I will tell the jurors they cannot draw any inference.

Neither Parnas nor Kukushkin will testify.

Judge Oetken: Now only the closings and my instructions of law remain. I'll tell the jurors that then let them go

 Parnas' lawyer Bondy: At this time, Lev Parnas rests his defense. Kukushkin's lawyer Friedman reads in a stipulation about iPhone and ProMac exhibits, "true and correct copies of communications of Igor Fruman," etc

Kukushin's lead lawyer Lefcourt: At this time, Andrey Kukushkin rests his case. Judge Oetken: Jurors, all the evidence has been received. I have a few things to talk about with the lawyers about my instructions of law -- Friedman: I'm sorry, I have an issue

 [After a sidebar] Judge Oetken: So, closing argument tomorrow and you will start deliberating. Please don't do any research and we'll see you tomorrow.

Update: With the jury gone for the day, now the Assistant US Attorney says they will not in their closing use the word oligarch but will call Muraviev a "tycoon," says "We don't know if he's a billionaire," so we call him tycoon. It's like a Monopoly term (TM?)

From OK - in US v. Parnas & Kukushkin, US has rested its case. With the scope of any cross of Parnas if he testified still pending, his lawyer is making a Rule 29 motion.

 Bondy: We have an FEC witness would can't even tell us the materiality threshold. As to the $325,000 it was a bona fide capital investment.  Friedman for Kukushkin: We too make a Rule 29 motion. There's no evidence that Mr Kukushkin knew Mr Parnas at the time

 Bondy: Mr. Parnas would like to make his decision on whether or not to testify until after the charging conference. AUSA: We think that is a bad idea, and not considerate to the jury. Mr. Parnas has known about this for a long time. He has all the data.

Bondy: This is the most important decision Mr. Parnas will make in this case, and one of the most important in his life. I believe the defendant could invoke the 5th Amendment if he testifies - and we'd like to do it at sidebar, outside jury presence.

 Bondy: I was working with Mr. Parnas until midnight last night. We are ready to proceed at all times.

 Judge Oetken: We'll go ahead with Mr. Ahearn. Any more, other than potentially Mr. Parnas? Bondy: Yes. I expect an hour with Mr. Ahearn. Judge Oetken: Let's start

Judge Oetken signs immunity order.

Ahearn: I have a masters from Fordham. Bondy: Then what? Ahearn: The McCain presidential campaign, then Mayor Bloomberg (get out the vote in The Bronx), then Jon Huntsman, finance for his race for President

 Bondy: Then America First Action Super PAC? Ahearn: Yes. As finance director. Bondy: Where did you meet Lev Parnas?

Ahearn: Mar-a-Lago. Steve Katz introduced him to me. He was trying to sell his CBD business.

 Bondy: Did you meet him again at a Protect the House event with Kevin McCarthy? Ahearn: Yes.  Bondy: You ask people for money all the time? Ahearn: That's the job. Bondy: What about the Pete Sessions and President Trump event.

Ahearn: Sounds familiar. Bondy: What about the dinner with President Trump - did you talk to Lev Parnas about the rules?

Ahearn: We don't want to put the leader of the free world into a compromising position. We keep it general. Bondy: Do you have legalizing cannabis? Ahearn: It'd be safer

 Bondy: Did you understand that Mr. Parnas was interested in bringing donors to the Super PAC? Ahearn: Yes. Bondy: Robert Pereira? Ahearn: A Florida attorney, large donor.

 Bondy: Do you recall Mr. Parnas asking you to set up a meeting with Rick Perry? Ahearn: I do not. Bondy: Did you go and have the Presidential cheeseburger? Ahearn: I was there working but not in the room.

Bondy: If a publicly traded company has a foreign national as a board member, can it legally make a contribution? Ahearn: Depends on the structure. Bondy: You learned this as a fundraiser, yes? Ahearn: Sometimes.

 Now US' cross-examination of Ahearn. AUSA: A campaign can't know to refund a donation if it does not know there was anything wrong, correct? Ahearn: That sounds right.

 Judge Oetken: Jurors, I'm going to let you go, come back tomorrow at 9:30.  I think we're still on schedule. Jurors leave. Judge Oetken: Charge conference now or tomorrow?

Defense: Tomorrow.

AUSA: Let's do it outside jury hours. Like 8 am.

Judge Oetken: 8 is really early for me. Anything before then?

Bondy: At a high level, we'd asked in our proposed charge a reference to knowledge of the elections laws. We're citing a Puerto Rico case. Lefcourt: The trial showed the elections laws are complicated.

 Judge Oetken: OK, have a good evening.

On October 11 Kukushkin asked to exclude a slew of Government Exhibits, full 8-page letter on Patreon here.

On October 5 Judge Oetken held the final pre-trial conference in advance of October 12 jury selection. Inner City Press live tweeted it here and below (podcast here)

Late on October 7 the US Attorney's Office has written to Judge Oetken seeking rulings in advance to admit exhibits including "The Inaugural Committee Articles, the FEC Complaint Article, the Time cover, and the Russian Roots Emails." Full letter on Patreon here. And now, song here.

On September 10, Igor "The Glue" Fruman pleaded guilty. Inner City Press live tweeted it here (with vlog; podcast here)

The case is US v. Parnas, et al., 19-cr-00725 (Oetken).


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