A jury in Manhattan is set to hear opening arguments Wednesday in the federal campaign finance trial of a business associate of former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Lev Parnas, 49, is accused of illegally funneling more than $300,000 in funds from a Russian businessman into U.S. political campaigns and groups, including a political action committee controlled by Trump allies.
Prosecutors say the donations were aimed at helping Parnas and wealthy Russian Andrey Muraviev get the permits needed to launch legal marijuana businesses in various states. The trial is expected to take jurors inside the world of high-dollar political campaign fundraising, including an intimate dinner with Trump at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. in April 2018 and a “leadership summit” held there two months later.
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HAPPENING NOW: Trial set to get underway in NYC for Giuliani associate Lev Parnas on charges of political donations to US campaigns w/Russian businessman’s money. At moment, judge and lawyers attend to one juror who says he will have $$$ problems serving https://t.co/HjcqTvWRdJ
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) October 13, 2021