Federal prosecutors said Monday that new criminal charges are “likely” in the campaign-finance case involving two associates of Rudy Giuliani who have been accused of funneling money into American elections through straw donors in order to gain influence.
Asked by a judge if the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan expects to file additional charges, prosecutor Douglas Zolkind said, “We think a superseding indictment is likely,” but noted “no decision has been made.”
During the hearing for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, along with two other men charged in the four-count indictment, Zolkind told Judge J. Paul Oetken that the investigation remains “ongoing” and that prosecutors are “continuing to evaluate” incoming evidence to determine if there are additional charges that need to be filed.
Zolkind did not go into details about what additional charges are being investigated or who is being investigated by prosecutors, but told the court that there are outstanding subpoenas related to an open grand-jury investigation.
Prosecutors are also looking into Giuliani’s business dealings as part of their investigation, sources have told The Daily Beast and other news organizations.
Parnas was the only one of the four men who showed up to the hearing, during which the two sides began discussing a timeline for their trial. The other three had their appearances excused by the judge, who agreed to let their attorneys appear on their behalf. All four men are out on bail.
Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy, told the judge that his client plans to cooperate with a House subpoena related to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and provide information gathered by federal prosecutors to congressional investigators.
In order to do so, Bondy asked prosecutors to produce documents, including any information gathered from more than a dozen electronics devices seized by the FBI, so that he could turn the information over to Congress.
Prosecutors said they would provide the evidence, and Oetken said he expects to “grant the request.”
Prosecutors in turn told Bondy that they could fulfill the request sooner if Parnas would provide passwords allowing investigators to gain faster entry into the devices, including six that were seized from him when he and Fruman were arrested at Washington’s Dulles Airport in October as they were preparing to board a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, holding one-way tickets. Another eight devices were seized from Parnas’ home.
In all, prosecutors told the court that they have seized more than two-dozen devices from the four men, including a satellite phone from Fruman. FBI technicians are working to access them, because the defendants have not provided passwords.
Without cooperation from the defendants, Zolkind said that work could take at least two months.
So far, Zolkind said prosecutors have obtained more than nine gigabytes of information through subpoenas and search warrants for bank, phone, and internet records. The defendants have received roughly 70,000 pages of evidence with more expected in the coming months.
The four men are due back in court Feb. 3.