New York (CNN)The federal court trial for four Rudy Giuliani associates indicted for breaking campaign laws is scheduled for early October, placing the courtroom drama on the calendar for one month before the 2020 presidential election.
If the trial date holds, it would mean the jury could be deliberating or reaching a verdict as the candidates are in the home stretch of the 2020 presidential election.
The four defendants were charged last October with using straw donors to hide sources of money that were donated to elections and funneling foreign money into US elections in violation of campaign finance laws. The men have each pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As part of the ongoing criminal investigation prosecutors are examining Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, including his business ties to Parnas and Fruman and their efforts to remove the US ambassador to Ukraine. The investigation into Giuliani is ongoing. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Giuliani’s effort to persuade Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden, Trump’s potential 2020 general election rival, has been at the center of the President’s impeachment trial. Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted corruptly in Ukraine.
Parnas and Fruman worked with Giuliani since at least mid-2018 to arrange and attend meetings with Ukrainian officials.
Parnas has been on a media blitz and traveled to Washington last week to advocate for witnesses, including himself, to be called at the impeachment trial. He was the only one of the four defendants to attended Monday’s court hearing, telling reporters afterward that “the truth will come out.”
Prosecutors have previously said they are likely to bring additional charges in the case. At Monday’s hearing, prosecutor Nicolas Roos said their thinking has not changed and they are “evaluating” when those other charges might be brought.
Roos estimated the government would complete its production of documents and electronic materials to the defendants by the middle of March. He said the FBI is still trying to access roughly 20 devices seized from the men.
The judge also denied a request by one of the defendants to compel prosecutors to say whether there have been any FISA surveillance on the men. He said the defendants haven’t established enough of a basis to support their suspicions.
Prosecutors have previously said there were no court-authorized wire taps on the defendants, and that they had no intention to use any material that could have been picked up with a FISA warrant.
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/03/politics/giuliani-associates-trial-date/index.html