Oct 7, 2019

Giuliani associates will not comply with impeachment inquiry, attorney says

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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Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Police block protesters at a rally on May 30 outside the state house on the fourth straight day of demonstrations against the death of George Floyd. Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the U.S. Saturday, amid tense standoffs with police in several cities.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

U.S. cities crack down on protests against police brutality

Photo: Megan Jelinger/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.