Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman arrested on campaign finance charges

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

Each was charged with two counts of conspiracy, one count of false statements and one of falsification of business records.

Giuliani has pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden's efforts to oust a former Ukrainian prosecutor general as vice president, alleging without evidence that the prosecutor general was investigating a Ukrainian gas firm with ties to Hunter Biden.

The indictments mark the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy.

Nancy Pelosi, who as House Speaker is the top Democrat in the chamber, launched the impeachment inquiry last month after the revelation that Trump had sought foreign interference in the 2020 USA election.

Yovanovitch is scheduled to give testimony in the House impeachment inquiry on Friday.

A spokesman for America First Action told The Wall Street Journal that the group had placed the contribution in a segregated bank account following the complaint filed with the FEC.

Prosecutors also allege that Parnas urged a congressman to seek the ouster of the USA ambassador to Ukraine, at the behest of Ukrainian government officials. That conversation is now at the heart of a burgeoning congressional impeachment inquiry. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, to help remove Yovanovitch as they funded his campaign - and attempted to use political funds to buy licenses to grow marijuana.

US Congressmen Adam Schiff, Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings in a letter on Thursday said they have issued subpoenas to two associates of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani for documents regarding the Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry.

Giuliani told CNN he is not aware of any law enforcement scrutiny on his financial dealings with the men and he said he has not been interviewed by the FBI in the investigation. They made an initial appearance in court Thursday afternoon in Virginia.

Photos provided by the Alexandria Sheriffs Office shows booking photos of Lev Parnas, left, and Igor Fruman.

Correia and Andrew Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born USA citizen, were also charged in the case.

The two men had been planning to fly to Vienna on Wednesday night, according to a source familiar with the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

HuffPost reported that "Congressman-1 is former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for Marie Yovanovitch to be removed as US ambassador to Ukraine" following his meeting with Parnas and Fruman in May of 2018. At that point, the company had no income or significant assets, according to the indictment.

They created a limited liability corporation, Global Energy Producers [GEP], and "intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of in their own names", according to the indictment.

The commitment to raise more than $20,000 for the congressman was made in May and June 2018. 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.

The arrests come as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, sparked by a July phone call between the USA president and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Other reports by iNewsToday