Lev Parnas asks Attorney General William Barr to refuse the investigation

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On a letter sent to Barr and filed with the federal court in New York, where Parnas is on trial for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, Parnas' lawyer said Barr's involvement in the case resulted in damaging perceptions and "real damage to Mr. Parnas".

The lawyer, Joseph Bondy, asked for the appointment of a special prosecutor from outside the Department of Justice to oversee the case.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

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The "real damage" that Bondy cited in the letter is what he describes as a delay in the production of discovery material in the Parnas indictment, which Bondy says left his client unable to deliver documents in a timely manner to comply with a subpoena issued by House of Representatives as part of its impeachment investigation, and therefore meant that Parnas could not be properly assessed as a potential witness.

Bondy does not specify how Barr's alleged conflict of interest may have contributed to any delay in the discovery.

Bondy also suggests that Barr's oversight is linked to what Bondy describes as the refusal of New York federal prosecutors to meet with his client, which Bondy says is willing to disclose information about President Donald Trump, Giuliani and lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova, among others.

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A spokesman for the Manhattan prosecutor's office in the United States, which is suing Parnas, declined to comment.

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