U.S. politician testifies he met donor through Giuliani at Trump hotel
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[October 16, 2021]
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former candidate for
Nevada's governorship testified on Friday that former New York City
Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduced him to Lev Parnas, a onetime Giuliani
associate now on trial for alleged campaign finance law violations, who
facilitated a contribution to the candidate.
Adam Laxalt, who lost his bid for the governorship, said he ultimately
received a $10,000 donation from Parnas associate Igor Fruman shortly
before the Nov. 6, 2018 election, But he said his campaign did not
accept the funds because of doubts about the true source and concerns
the contribution was illegal.
Prosecutors called Laxalt to testify in Parnas' Manhattan federal court
trial. The Ukraine native has been charged with illegally funneling
money from a Russian businessman to the campaigns of candidates for
office in states where Parnas, Fruman and associates were seeking
licenses to run cannabis businesses.
Laxalt said he met Giuliani, who was then personal attorney for former
President Donald Trump, at the Trump International Hotel in Washington
two months before the 2018 state election. Laxalt, a Republican, said he
then accompanied Giuliani to a balcony at the hotel, where a group
including Parnas were smoking cigars and drinking.
Parnas "immediately offered to help my campaign," Laxalt told the jury
in the case overseen by U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken.
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A combination file picture shows Ukrainian-American businessman Lev
Parnas and Russian born businessman Igor Fruman exiting the United
States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S.,
October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Jefferson Siegel/File
There was no suggestion that Giuliani did anything
illegal by introducing Laxalt to Parnas. Prosecutors are separately
probing whether Giuliani violated lobbying laws while working as
Trump's lawyer. Giuliani has not been charged with any crime and has
The case has drawn attention because of Parnas' and former
co-defendant Fruman's roles helping Giuliani investigate President
Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine. Biden, a Democrat, defeated Trump
in the Republican's 2020 bid for re-election.
Giuliani's lawyer has said Parnas' case and the lobbying probe are
Parnas pleaded not guilty. Belarus-born Fruman pleaded guilty in
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)
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