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Judge effectively denies Lev Parnas' attempt to attend impeachment trial

Updated 9:37 PM ET, Tue January 28, 2020

(CNN) - A federal judge on Tuesday effectively denied a request by an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani to attend President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Judge Paul Oetken denied Lev Parnas' request to have his GPS device removed, thereby quashing the request to attend the trial, because Senate rules do not permit any electronic devices in the gallery.

Earlier on Tuesday, Joseph Bondy, an attorney for Parnas, asked the judge to modify his client's bail conditions -- which require him to wear the GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet and confine him to his home in Florida -- so Parnas could sit in the Senate chamber and observe the proceedings.

In a letter to the judge Tuesday, Bondy said he had received tickets to the trial from the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, to attend an afternoon session.

"Earlier this afternoon, I received an e-mail from Amy Mannering, Director of Operations for Senator Chuck Schumer's Office, informing that my request for tickets to the trial had been granted," Bondy wrote.

He said he had been given tickets for himself, Parnas and his co-counsel in the case, Stephanie Schuman, to attend Wednesday from 12:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Bondy notified the judge that pretrial services said Parnas would first have to travel to New York to have the GPS device removed to enter the Senate gallery, then travel back to New York to have the ankle bracelet replaced.

He said prosecutors did not object to Parnas attending the trial but do object to removing the tracking device.

Parnas has been cooperating with the House impeachment investigators, providing documents, text messages and an audio recording from an April 2018 dinner that captured President Donald Trump ordering the removal of Marie Yovanovich, then the US ambassador to Ukraine.

Bondy has been trying to get Parnas called as a witness in the impeachment trial and has tweeted at individual senators.

Bondy told CNN he is going to the trial and hopes to secure a meeting with Schumer later that afternoon. He added that he does hope they call witnesses and if asked that will be his "mantra" at the trial.


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