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New charges 'likely' in case against Giuliani associates

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Image: Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and his wife, Svetlana, le
Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and his wife, Svetlana, leave federal court in Manhattan on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. -
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Mike Segar Reuters
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The Justice Department is "likely" to file additional charges in the case against two associates of Rudy Giuliani accused of funneling foreign money to U.S. political candidates, a prosecutor said Monday.

The disclosure was made during a court hearing in New York related to the case of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The federal prosecutor didn't offer any further details on the nature or target of any additional charges.

Parnas and Fruman were charged with violating campaign finance laws. They have pleaded not guilty.

The two men were carrying one-way tickets to Vienna when they were arrested at Dulles Airport outside of Washington on Oct. 9.

The indictment unsealed the next day accused Parnas and Fruman of making illegal straw donations, including $325,000 to a pro-President Donald Trump political action committee. Federal prosecutors say the two also engaged in a scheme to force the ouster of the then-U.S. ambassador in Ukraine.

The removal of the former ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, in May is among the events House Democrats have focused on in the impeachment inquiry. Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch an investigation of Joe Biden, his political rival, and Biden's son.

Giuliani has acknowledged that Parnas and Fruman assisted in his effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Parnas and Fruman refused to cooperate in the House impeachment inquiry. But last month, Parnas' new lawyer said he was willing to speak with congressional investigators.

The lawyer, Joseph Bondy, said Parnas was told that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chief defender of Trump as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, met with Ukraine's former top prosecutor about investigating the activities of Biden and his son Hunter.

In an appearance on Fox News late last month, Nunes sidestepped a question about the allegation. "I really want to answer all of these questions, and I promise you I absolutely will come back on the show," Nunes told host Maria Bartiromo.

Nunes added: "Everybody's going to know all the facts, but I think you can understand that I can't compete by trying to debate this out with the public media when 90 percent of the media are totally corrupt."

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