Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges

Giuliani associates arrested on campaign finance charges

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Rudy Giuliani, were arrested Wednesday night trying to flee the country with one-way tickets at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, according to Geoffrey Berman, the us attorney in Manhattan.

Kukushkin made an initial court appearance in San Francisco on Thursday.

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, is being scrutinized by federal investigators for his financial dealings following the indictment of two of his associates for violating campaign finance laws, according to a law enforcement official.

"I can't comment on it at this time", Mr Giuliani later told The Atlantic.

Parnas and Fruman were arrested on a four-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records.

According to the indictment, Parnas, Fruman, David Correia, and Andrey Kukushkin "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".

Through a spokesman, Morrisey declined to comment on the donation to the political action committee that spent money on his race.

The foreign national eventually made wire transfers totaling $1 million to Fruman and another unnamed individual past year, and the defendants used those funds to make donations to a number of political candidates in Nevada that they thought could help further their plans for the marijuana business, the indictment says.

Giuliani told The Times on Thursday that he provided legal and business advice for Parnas and Fruman, but said he couldn't "acknowledge it's Fraud Guarantee, I don't think".

FILE - U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, center, attends a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2019.

The political donations were made "for the goal of gaining influence with politicians, so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working", the indictment charges.

Yovanovitch was a well-regarded diplomat who came into disfavor within the Trump administration and was removed from her post earlier this year.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are also under scrutiny in a congressional impeachment investigation into whether Mr Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

In a statement Thursday evening, Sessions said he "cannot confirm" he is the unnamed congressman in the court papers. He also said he would "vigorously defend myself against any allegations of wrongdoing".

Why were Parnas and Fruman were headed to Vienna for "business" in the same window as Giuliani, but with no stated plan to meet up?

Was Rudy Giuliani aware of the source of the foreign money Fruman and Parnas funneled towards these Republican pockets?

And Parnas and Fruman quickly exacted a return on their investment. The two men made illegal contributions using straw donors, according to the indictment. Prosecutors said played key roles in helping Giuliani pursue unsubstantiated claims that Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, were engaged in improper conduct in Ukraine. And the indictment also alleges that Parnas was working, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.

Parnas and Fruman had been called to testify this week. Thursday's indictment shows a different approach.

The criminal charges surfacing around Trump are reminiscent of the crimes that surfaced around President Richard Nixon prior to his resignation. "Now, it's possible I have a picture with them, because I have a picture with everybody". "Maybe they were clients of Rudy", he added. I don't know if there's anybody I don't have pictures with, ' Trump said.

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