2 men tied to Trump lawyer Giuliani arrested on campaign charges

Ruben Fields
October 10, 2019

Two associates of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, have been arrested and charged with campaign finance violations.

The two reportedly aided Giuliani's efforts to have Ukraine launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Giuliani acknowledged that both men "logistically helped" in his collection of evidence against Hunter Biden, and that they helped connect him with former Ukrainian top prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko. They also met with the president's son Donald Trump Jr. later that month at a fundraising breakfast in Beverly Hills, Calif., along with Tommy Hicks Jr., a close friend of the younger Mr. Trump who at the time was heading America First Action.

The indictment filed in NY also names an American-born businessman, David Correia, and Ukraine-born Andrey Kukushkin. Parnas and Kukushkin were born in Ukraine and Fruman was born in Belarus.

The charges against the men include conspiracy and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.

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John Dowd, the lawyer for the two men, declined comment on the charges.

Parnas, Fruman and Kukushkin are US citizens. This included contributions of $325,000 and $15,000 to committees in May 2018, "to obtain access to exclusive policital events and gain influence with politicians", the indictment says.

Messrs. Parnas and Fruman had dinner with the president in early May 2018, according to since-deleted Facebook posts captured in a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. The campaign finance allegations against them are inextricably linked with that effort. They are my clients and I have advised them to press charges. House Democrats wanted them to appear for a deposition today and tomorrow pursuant to the ongoing impeachment inquiry, but it appears there weren't any plans of complying with that request. The defendants concealed the scheme from the candidates, campaigns, federal regulators, and the public by entering into secret agreements, laundering foreign money through bank accounts in the name of limited liability corporations, and through the use of straw donors (also known as "conduits" or "straw contributors") who purported to make legal campaign contributions in their own names, rather than in the name of the true source of the funds.

Lawmakers had been ready to issue Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman with legal summonses to compel them to show up.

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