Updated Oct 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

The backdrop: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman introduced Giuliani to former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko, who promoted allegations that Biden forced Ukraine to fire Shokin in 2016 because Shokin was investigating a gas company that employed Biden's son, per the Washington Post. President Trump's and Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden for this alleged corruption are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry.

  • Earlier this week, Parnas and Fruman told the House committees investigating Trump and Ukraine that they will not comply with document or deposition requests.
  • Their attorney John Dowd, who represented Trump during the Mueller investigation, accused Democrats of attempting "to harass, intimidate and embarrass" his clients.

The latest: On Thursday, the House Oversight, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman to turn over key documents about Ukraine by Oct. 16. The chairmen said the two men will be asked to testify as well at a later date.

  • U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said at a press conference that Parnas and Fruman were "about to board an international flight with one-way tickets" when they were arrested. He also added that the investigation is "ongoing."

Read the indictment:

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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.

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Indicted Giuliani associate now willing to comply with impeachment inquiry

Lev Parnas. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lev Parnas, one of Rudy Giuliani's foreign-born associates who were indicted on campaign finance charges last month, is now willing to cooperate in the House's impeachment inquiry, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.

Why it matters: Parnas and another associate, Igor Fruman, helped connect Giuliani with Ukrainian officials as part of a campaign to push Ukraine to investigate President Trump's political opponents, including Joe Biden. Parnas' and Fruman's previous lawyer, John Dowd, told House investigators that they would not comply with the committee's document requests because they were “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”

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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.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019