Oct 7, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associates will not comply with impeachment inquiry, attorney says

Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A pair of Rudy Giuliani's business associates wrapped up in the Ukraine investigation will not comply with information and deposition requests from the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, their attorney John Dowd told the Miami Herald Monday.

The big picture: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are Trump donors who helped connect Giuliani with former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko, who promoted allegations that Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire Shokin in 2016 because Shokin was investigating a gas company that employed Biden's son, per the Washington Post. President Trump's and Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden for this alleged corruption are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry.

  • On Saturday, AP reported that while Giuliani was pushing Ukraine to investigate Biden, Parnas and Fruman were seeking to install "new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company" in order to "steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies."
  • Parnas also reportedly told an executive at the gas company that Trump was planning to remove U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and "replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests" — several months before Yovanovitch was actually removed, per AP.
  • Their attorney John Dowd, who also represented Trump during the Mueller investigation, disputed AP's characterizations and said their dealings in Ukraine were "an attempt to do legitimate business that didn’t work out."

In a letter to House Democrats obtained by The Daily Beast, Dowd wrote:

"Your request for documents and communications is overly broad and unduly burdensome. The subject matter of your requests is well beyond the scope of your inquiry. This, in combination with requiring immediate responses, leads me to the inescapable conclusion that the Democratic Committee members’ intent is to harass, intimidate and embarrass my clients."

What to watch: Parnas and Fruman were scheduled to be deposed on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11, respectively. They are likely to be served subpoenas if they do not appear.

Go deeper ... Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden really did in Ukraine

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