Why it’s such a big deal that superseding indictments have been revealed in the Lev Parnas – Igor Fruman case

Earlier today, federal prosecutors appeared in court and, according to multiple major news outlets, revealed that superseding indictments are “very likely” coming in the criminal case involving Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. This isn’t necessarily surprising, as the two were arrested while trying to leave the country, meaning the criminal case wasn’t yet necessarily complete at the time. But this is nonetheless a big deal – for Rudy Giuliani and for Donald Trump.

First, prosecutors haven’t revealed who all will get hit by the indictments. By definition, superseding indictments will be brought against one or more people who have already been charged, so this points to additional charges against Lev and/or Igor. But the superseding indictments could include additional alleged co-conspirators such as Rudy Giuliani. In other words, Rudy’s worries just multiplied.

Second, Lev Parnas is already confirmed to be cooperating with the House impeachment inquiry. If he hasn’t also cut a plea deal with the SDNY, a superseding indictment against him could increase pressure on him to cut a deal against Rudy and Donald Trump. If Lev has already flipped, these indictments could be based partly on his cooperation. This could also place pressure on Igor Fruman, who is still using a Trump-associated attorney and very much appears not to have flipped, to go ahead and do so.

Finally, the news about the superseding indictments helps make clear that if corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr is trying to shut down this Lev-Igor probe before it reaches the Rudy-Trump level, he hasn’t managed to pull it off yet. The investigation is clearly still ongoing – and these kinds of probes only tend to move upward in terms of the importance of the people being targeted for indictment.

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