The jurors will also hear evidence of the allegations related to Parnas, Fruman and business partner Andrey Kukushkin’s alleged raising of $1 million from Russian nationals for state and federal elections to benefit their future cannabis business.
The trial began for nearly two years, until Parnas and Fruman were arrested when they boarded a flight to Vienna at an airport in the Washington area. The arrest comes as House Democrats are investigating then-President Donald Trump — and the final impeachment trial — and pushing two unknown Florida businessmen onto the global stage.
The criminal trial is not expected to allow the jury to enter Parnas’s life. He and Giuliani crisscrossed Europe to compile information that he claimed was harmful to the then presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, but the former The president and his lawyers will not be absent from the case, either. Prosecutors said at a recent court hearing that they intend to show to the jury that Panas, Giuliani, and Trump texted Panas’ Kucushkin’s jury photos. These photos are of him. Used to brag about one’s relationship and influence.
It’s not just the prosecutor who accused Parnas of fraud. Kukushkin’s lawyers said they would argue that Parnas deceived Kukushkin and his Russian supporters. He said they didn’t know the plan and laid the foundation for some potentially tense moments. District Judge Paul Oetken rejected the previous request for a separate trial and said he would make a ruling when the controversial trial time arrives.
Panas and Kukushkin denied any wrongdoing.
In recent days, lawyers and Oetken have discussed issues that can and cannot be resolved during the trial, and how to best curb potentially irrelevant and distracting hype about Trump and Giuliani.
Who will testify
Prosecutors are expected to begin testifying with senior U.S. operations officer Joe Ahearn, a pro-Trump super political action committee that received $325,000 in the so-called straw donation program Related donations.
Parnas’s lawyer Joseph Bundy said in court that Aherne may talk about Parnas’s efforts to make timely donations to obtain invitations to participate in events and contact Trump.
Lawyers involved in the case stated that other witnesses included Felix Vulis, a Russian businessman and former CEO of Eurasian Natural Resources, related to the cannabis business; former Chief of Staff of former Rep. Pete Sessions; current and former FEC lawyers; two Nevada politician, Adam Laxalt, then Nevada’s attorney general and candidate for governor, and Wesley Duncan, a lesser-known politician in the state; lawyers who helped Parnas register a cannabis business in the state; and assisted Pana Partner of the law firm that submitted documents to the Federal Election Commission.
The two names that will appear in emails and text exchanges but actually absent from the trial include Fruman, who pleaded guilty last month to a count of donating to foreign nationals in connection with the program. Fruman initially faced multiple charges in multiple federal indictments, but reached a plea agreement that did not require him to cooperate with prosecutors. He will face up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in January next year.
The other name is David Correia (David Correia), he is another business partner who was sued along with others. He is currently serving a year in prison after acknowledging fraudulent guarantees against investors in October last year, and the company operated with Parnas from 2012 to 2019. He is uncooperative and is expected to be released in January.
According to a lawsuit filed in federal court in February, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Parnas and Correia for alleged fraudulent guarantee schemes. Correia reached a settlement with the SEC, but Parnas’s lawyers continued to file a lawsuit on his behalf.
Despite being known for touting his wealth and relationship with Trump’s high rollers, Parnas told the court this month that he did not have the cash to pay legal fees. Oetken granted Parnas relief and ruled that the government would arrange or pay for his travel from his home in Florida, and his lawyer would reimburse the accommodation costs according to the government’s daily allowance.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks.