Giuliani Associates Arrested On Campaign Finance Violations

US President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC

Trump donors charged in campaign finance case

A $15,000 donation made to a political action committee that backed Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's campaign for U.S. Senate is at the center of a controversy involving President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and an impeachment inquiry.

They are accused of funneling foreign money into US elections to influence USA politics on behalf of a Ukrainian official, according to the Wall Street Journal.

They are expected to appear on Thursday in federal court in Virginia.

In a separate alleged scheme, Parnas and Fruman allegedly worked with Correia and Kukushkin to make political donations - funded by an unnamed foreign national - to politicians and candidates at the state level to try to win their help securing licenses for a recreational marijuana business.

It's hard to say what, if anything, will come of this, though we learned some additional contextual details as yesterday unfolded, including the fact that Giuliani was with Parnas and Fruman the day before their arrest at - where else? At that point, the company had no income or significant assets, the indictment said.

The Floridians' connection to indicted oligarch Firtash injects an intriguing new character into the rapidly unfolding drama surrounding the effort to impeach Trump.

LUCAS: So their names are Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

"PARNAS's efforts to remove the Ambassador were conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials", the indictment says. The Ukrainian official is not identified. USA authorities are looking at whether that was a first stop en route to Ukraine, said the person, who wasn't authorized to discuss the probe and spoke on condition of anonymity.

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, who this week sharply criticized his House colleagues for their Ukraine-related impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, previous year accepted campaign donations from one of the foreign nationals arrested Wednesday as part of the widening Ukrainian investigation.

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While there is no evidence of wrongdoing against the former United States vice president and his son, Hunter Biden, Ukraine's prosecutor general Ruslan Riaboshapka announced that he would review the file on Burisma Holdings. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman aided Mr. Giuliani's efforts to gin up investigations in Ukraine into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, among other potentially politically beneficial investigations for Mr. Trump'. The two men are reportedly born in former Soviet republics, but which ones have not been specified.

Meanwhile, the USA ambassador to the European Union, Mr Gordon Sondland, will testify before Congress next week as part of the impeachment investigation of Mr Trump, despite a State Department order not to, his lawyer said yesterday.

House Democrats subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman on Thursday for documents they have so far refused to produce to three House committees.

A whistle-blower complaint to Congress also raised concerns that Trump leveraged $400-million in USA aid to try to secure a promise from Ukraine's president to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Mr Parnas was born in Ukraine, Mr Fruman in Belarus. Pete Sessions, in Texas Republican who lost his re-election bid in November.

Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, explicitly told reporters yesterday that his office's investigation is "ongoing", suggesting additional indictments may be on the way.

Trump recalled Yovanovitch from Ukraine on May 20.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Yovanovitch ultimately was removed from her post this spring amid complaints from Giuliani and others.

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