- Associated Press - Thursday, October 31, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) - An associate of Rudy Giuliani charged with using foreign money to make illegal campaign contributions should be freed from “onerous” bail conditions that include home detention with electronic monitoring, his lawyer said.

A bail hearing in Manhattan federal court was scheduled for Friday for Igor Fruman, though Fruman won’t be required to attend. Fruman has pleaded not guilty to charges that he and others conspired to make illegal contributions to political committees supporting President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

At a hearing last week, a lawyer for Fruman’s codefendant - Lev Parnas - drew a link between the case and Trump when he suggested that the White House might want to assert executive privilege over evidence in the case. Parnas also has pleaded not guilty.

The charges allege that the men made donations while lobbying U.S. politicians to oust the American ambassador to Ukraine. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who had sought to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of Trump’s potential Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, has said he knew nothing of the donations. Trump’s interest in seeing Ukraine investigate the Bidens is now the subject of a House impeachment inquiry.

Fruman’s attorney, Todd Blanche, told U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken in a letter put in the public record Thursday that Fruman should not be subjected to “onerous conditions” especially after the court imposed a $1 million fully secured bond and restrictions on travel.

“Mr. Fruman is simply not a flight risk necessitating home detention and GPS monitoring,” Blanche wrote.

The lawyer also complained that prosecutors are asking too many questions about the financial backgrounds of Fruman’s brother and his wife, who along with his son, were planning to cosign the bond.

Blanche said the brother and wife provided personal bank statements and two years of tax returns, but representatives of the federal prosecutor’s office also required additional financial information about businesses in the New York City area that the couple has interests in, including the businesses’ bank statements.

The lawyer said the bond is fully secured by Fruman’s Florida residence and the potential cosignors have significant savings and assets to cover any shortcoming in the collateral should Fruman flee.

A spokesman for prosecutors declined to comment Thursday.

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