Defendant in Giuliani associates’ case fights phone evidence
NEW YORK (AP) — A Florida man charged with conspiring with associates of Rudy Giuliani to make illegal campaign contributions claims prosecutors shouldn’t get to use electronics he mailed to lawyers in the case against him, but prosecutors disagreed Monday.
Prosecutors said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court that they legally obtained a hard-copy notebook and electronic devices belonging to David Correia last October.
They said Correia tried to mail them to his lawyers before flying to New York to surrender, apparently to avoid having them seized when he was arrested. Prosecutors obtained a warrant for the package and seized it, according to a letter prosecutors sent to Judge J. Paul Oetken.
Correia’s claim that the materials are protected by attorney-client privilege is meritless, prosecutors said. They noted that a separate “filter team” of prosecutors supervised by senior prosecutors not handling the case were reviewing the materials to separate anything that was privileged.
Correia, of West Palm Beach, Florida, has pleaded not guilty. He’s among four men charged with arranging illegal contributions to politicians to aid their political and business interests.
Prosecutors said Correia was involved in a scheme to make illegal campaign donations to local and federal politicians in New York, Nevada and other states in an attempt to get support for a new recreational marijuana business.
Two other men charged in the case, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, worked with Giuliani to try and get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of Democrat Joe Biden. They have both pleaded not guilty to charges.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has served as a legal adviser to President Donald Trump, has said he had no knowledge of illegal donations and hadn’t seen any evidence that Parnas and Fruman did anything wrong.
The judge, at the request of prosecutors, ordered defense lawyers to make any claims to block use of the electronic evidence by March 23.
A message left with Correia’s lawyer for comment was not immediately returned.