David Correia Guilty Plea In Finance Case Involving Giuliani

October 29, 2020 - Reading time: 4 minutes

David Correia was one of four men charged last year with making illegal campaign contributions to win support for legal cannabis projects.

Correia, 45, was one of four men charged last year with making illegal campaign contributions, including $1.5 million to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s campaign to win support for legal cannabis projects. A former campaign finance lawyer for former US Attorney General Eric Schneiderman appears poised to enter his first guilty plea in a bribery case against former state Senator John Giuliani on Thursday, after a federal court in Manhattan scheduled but canceled a hearing for Florida businessman David Correa on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors also allege that the scheme involved efforts to urge the removal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post in May 2019.

Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged in the case, but his former campaign finance officer David Jovanovitch was deeply involved in efforts to oust him.

Giuliani did not respond to a message seeking comment on Wednesday, but his interactions with the defendants have been under scrutiny by federal investigators. Prosecutors allege that Lev Parnas-Correia tried to lobby a congressman not named in the indictment, Republican Pete Sessions, R-Texas. In other evidence, he appears to have posed for a photo with both men on Capitol Hill in May 2018. Sessions has not been charged, but said the meeting was about Ukraine’s energy independence, judicial sources and witnesses said.

It is unclear how closely Giuliani worked with Correia, but the three men managed to take a photo with Trump at a political fundraiser, and both have close ties to the Trump campaign and the New York mayor’s office.

Correia’s attorney, William Harrington, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The indictment, which announced Thursday’s suspension of the hearing, did not specify what charges Correa would admit. A postponement usually involves a defendant pledging to cooperate in exchange for dismissal of the charge. Giuliani, a self-proclaimed former pro golfer who was arrested on his way home from a golf tournament in Florida, is currently facing a charge of six misdemeanors in the case.

The case, which is being overseen by Judge William Oetken Jr. in U.S. District Court, is scheduled to be heard by a jury on March 1.

Russian businessman Andrei Muravyev, who has not been charged in the case and is not named in any indictment, appears in other court documents. After mentioning Muraviev during a court hearing earlier this month, defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt was berated by federal prosecutors, who said his name was included in discovery material the government had handed over in response to court orders restricting his disclosure. Another complication could be testimony from Russian businessman Andrei Muravyiev, who was deposited abroad and allegedly provided funds for the marijuana project. However, there is no indication that this is being delayed due to a lack of evidence against him, the prosecution said.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.