Giuliani Ukraine associate had checkered past even before indictment

On Oct. 25, 2008, the owner of a property in Florida in which Lev Parnas had been living told Parnas to leave. When the men began to argue and the owner told Parnas he would call the police, Parnas told the man, “If you call the cops, they are not going to find you ever,” according to a petition for a restraining order filed by the landlord in Miami-Dade county court and obtained by POLITICO.

Three days later, the men met to discuss the matter again. According to the petition, Parnas held a gun to the man’s head and said, “This is my last warning to you,” then got into his car, a dark blue Porsche Cayenne, and drove off. Three days after that, on Halloween, the police seized from Parnas a .38 revolver, a 9mm pistol, an automatic pistol, and a .40-caliber Glock pistol, according to a court motion filed later by Parnas seeking return of the firearms…

Before he accompanied Rudy Giuliani to the National Cathedral for George H.W. Bush’s funeral and posted online about dining at the White House with President Donald Trump, Parnas lived a checkered life, often working with fraudsters and others tied to organized crime. As Parnas and one of his alleged co-conspirators head to arraignment next Wednesday on charges of manipulating the American political system at the behest of foreigners, the ease with which he was able to buy his way into Trump’s inner circle provides an alarming indicator of the integrity of that system.

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