Lawyer: Giuliani associate willing to speak to Congress

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FILE – In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, Lev Parnas makes a statement to the media following his arraignment in New York. According to his attorney, Parnas is willing to cooperate with Congress in its impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Soviet-born associate of Rudy Giuliani charged with federal campaign finances is now prepared to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump, reversing course from an earlier position, his attorney said Monday.

Lev Parnas, accused of using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions while lobbying U.S. politicians to oust the country’s ambassador to Ukraine, is willing to comply with a subpoena from impeachment investigators. Parnas and Igor Fruman, another Giuliani associate, were arrested at an airport last month while trying to leave the country with one-way tickets.

Giuliani’s efforts to oust the ambassador, Maria Yovanovitch, and to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of Trump’s potential Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are now central to the House impeachment inquiry.

Parnas’s attorney, Joseph Bondy, sent lawmakers a letter informing them of his client’s stance. Bondy said Parnas is prepared to answer questions and produce documents for the impeachment inquiry as long as they don’t step on his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

A previous lawyer for Parnas, John Dowd, had said Parnas would not cooperate.

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