Published: Fri, October 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Florida businessmen who helped Giuliani in Ukraine arrested on campaign finance charges

Florida businessmen who helped Giuliani in Ukraine arrested on campaign finance charges

From earlier subpoenas, we've already learned that Giuliani's arrested pals leaned on a congressman to push for the recall of the ambassador to Ukraine in part at the behest of the Ukrainian government, which is essentially the burglary in this here Watergate ensuring that Fruman will end up with a talk show deal as the G. Gordon Dimwitty of this operation.

A federal law enforcement source told Fox News that Parnas and Fruman were arrested Wednesday at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Sessions said the two men, both of them Soviet-born US citizens, made no requests of him.

According to the indictment, Parnas also sought the help of a U.S. congressman - identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions - to get Trump to remove U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Parnas and Fruman conspired to "funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office", according to a federal court filing in NY.

A May 2019 fact-check by Snopes on the claim that Obama took $21.6 million in illegal foreign donations for his 2012 reelection campaign was found to be "mostly false". The campaign finance allegations against them are inextricably linked with that effort. Prosecutors say GEP was a shell company with "no real business".

Parnas and Fruman were central to Giuliani's efforts to get government officials in Ukraine to investigate business dealings by former USA vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the war-torn former Soviet republic.

Two businessmen from the former Soviet Union have been arrested for allegedly breaking US campaign finance laws.

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Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, acknowledged that the pair "logistically helped" him gather evidence against Hunter Biden, and that they helped connect him with former Ukrainian top prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko.

Yovanovitch has become one of the central figures in the ongoing impeachment effort in the House and is expected to appear before lawmakers for a deposition on Friday. Kevin Downing, the lawyer who represented former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges that he hid millions of dollars that he earned in Ukraine advising politicians there, was representing the men for their initial appearance and declined to comment. That effort was also discussed by Trump in a July call with Ukraine's president and is at the heart of the impeachment probe.

The indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan alleges that they and two other 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 the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments".

"The president of the Ukraine just stated again, in the strongest of language, that President Trump applied no pressure and did absolutely nothing wrong", Trump tweeted Thursday.

Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, defended the president after the indictment.

Two other people were charged in the indictment: David Correia, a USA businessman, and Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born US businessman who was a vice president of a Russian hedge fund before becoming involved in several marijuana-related businesses in California. "I don't know what the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants".

The pair were accused of funneling foreign funds to USA political campaigns, including $325,000 which went to a fundraising committee for Trump's 2020 reelection.

Parnas said any violations of U.S. Federal Election Commission rules were unwitting and a "clerical thing" because he was not an experienced political donor.

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