Home World News Ex-Giuliani associate Parnas pleads not guilty as trial looms, politics weigh

Ex-Giuliani associate Parnas pleads not guilty as trial looms, politics weigh

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NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Lev Parnas, who helped Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani collect damaging information about Joe Biden before the Democrat won the 2020 presidential election, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a narrowed indictment alleging campaign finance and other crimes.

A week before his scheduled trial, Parnas entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan, who signaled he will try to keep jurors focused without bias on the evidence, regardless of their views about Giuliani and Trump.

The Ukraine-born Parnas has been charged with concealing an illegal $325,000 donation to support Trump’s unsuccessful re-election campaign.

Parnas and his co-defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, were also charged with illegally using donations to U.S. politicians from a Russian businessman to obtain legal, recreational marijuana distribution licenses. Kukushkin also pleaded not guilty.

A former co-defendant, Igor Fruman, pleaded guilty on…

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