Oct 10, 2019

McCarthy, DeSantis pledge to return donations from indicted Giuliani associates

DeSantis (L) and McCarthy. Photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images and Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have both pledged to return thousands in campaign donations made by 2 foreign-born Trump donors who were arrested this week for allegedly scheming to buy influence with U.S. politicians, Vice News and the Miami Herald report.

By the numbers: DeSantis received $50,000 through an LLC called Global Energy Producers from the donors, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, according to the Herald. McCarthy received $2,700 directly from the donors and plans to donate the money to a local charity, per Vice News.

The big picture: Parnas and Fruman helped introduce Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian officials who promoted unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, which are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President.

  • The House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman on Thursday to turn over key documents about Ukraine by Oct. 16.

Worth noting: The Federal Election Commission currently cannot launch any new investigations into illicit campaign contributions from foreign nationals, because the August resignation of vice chairman Matthew Petersen left the agency without the minimum 4 commissioners necessary to make high-level decisions.

Go deeper: Foreign-born Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges

Go deeper

Trump denies knowing indicted Giuliani business associates

President Trump told reporters Thursday that he does not know Lev Parnas or Igor Fruman, two of Rudy Giuliani's business associates who were indicted for allegedly funneling foreign money into Republican political campaigns.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

Foreign-born Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges

Photo: Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Two foreign-born Trump donors who helped connect Rudy Giuliani with Ukrainian officials as part of his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were arrested on Wednesday night on campaign finance charges, the Wall Street Journal reports.

LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and State office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments.
— Southern District of New York prosecutors
Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 10, 2019

Indicted Giuliani associate raises possibility of executive privilege in court

Lev Parnas. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A defense attorney for Lev Parnas, one of the two Soviet-born associates of Rudy Giuliani indicted on campaign finance charges this month, argued in a Manhattan court Wednesday that the White House could potentially invoke executive privilege over some of the evidence gathered by prosecutors, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Parnas, who pleaded not guilty to charges that he helped funnel foreign money into Republican campaigns, employed Giuliani as his lawyer at the same time that Giuliani was working for President Trump. Parnas and Igor Fruman are also under scrutiny from House investigators over allegations that they helped introduce Giuliani to Ukrainian officials as part of a campaign to gather damaging information on Joe Biden and help oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Go deeper: Trump officials worry about Giuliani's foreign dealings

Keep ReadingArrowOct 23, 2019