“But the theorizing of Twitters users, and Parnas’s own speculation, do not constitute evidence of an improperly motivated prosecution,” Judge Paul Oetken wrote, noting that Parnas initially did not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. “To accept Parnas’s conspiracy theory, the Government would have to have known that, one day in the future, Parnas would change his mind and decide to cooperate with the Congressional demand.”
The judge noted that the government didn’t object to Parnas’ television appearances and media interviews. The judge also denied Parnas’ request to seek records from the government to pursue the theory.
Parnas, Fruman and Andrey Kukushkin are set to go to trial in October on three different alleged schemes. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Each of the defendants filed motions to separate their trials from the others.
The judge granted only one of those requests and agreed to sever the charges against Parnas for allegedly defrauding investors in a company called Fraud Guarantee, where Parnas is the only defendant.
The three men will all go to trial together on alleged schemes they used straw donors and foreign donors to make campaign donations to US elections.
“Neither the proffered evidence nor the nature of the alleged schemes, which are relatively straightforward, supports a conclusion that a joint trial would be substantially prejudicial,” the judge wrote.
The judge said any relevant material or communications involving the defendants are “likely to have already been produced from Parnas’s and Fruman’s own devices.”