Two men who assisted Rudy Giuliani in creating the Ukraine smear against Joe Biden have been arrested for campaign finance violations. While both men funneled six figure donations to Donald Trump through a PAC run by Donald Trump Jr., that does not appear to be the primary focus of the charges. Instead it seems the men are being charged for something more direct—bringing foreign funds into a U.S. election and plain old bribery. The source of that money was apparently Ukraine, the purpose of that bribery was getting rid of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
The charges have now been filed. And the nature of the grand jury charges are easily seen in just a few words.
The defendants conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates to federal and State office so that dependents could buy potential influence with candidates.
It’s worth noting that the description of funneling foreign money to candidates might also fit with the way that the two men sent $325,000 to a pro-Trump PAC by routing it through an LLC. In fact, additional charges from the grand jury directly address the way that the men used an LLC to disguise the source of funds. And the charges pull no punches about the purpose of those funds.
At around the same time PARNAS and FURMAN committed to raising those funds for Congressman-1, PARNAS met with Congressman-1 and sought Congressman-1’s assistance in causing the U.S. government to remove or recall the then U.S.-ambassador to Ukraine. PARNAS’ efforts to remove the Ambassador were conducted, at least in part, at the request or one or more Ukrainian officials,
Marie Yovanovitch was high on the list of the list for Most Important Witnesses at the impeachment inquiry. The importance of her appearance just went up another notch.
According to a broadcast report from NBC, Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport as they attempted to flee the country.
Included in the charges are not just Parnas and Fruman, who were previously identified as assisting Rudy Giuliani in in his efforts as Trump’s personal attorney, but David Corriea who is “a businessman born in the United States” and Andrew Kukushkin, “a businessman and United States citizen who was born in Ukraine.” Corriea appears to be the owner of a holding company headquartered in Florida.
It might be a good time for someone to ask Rudy Giuliani to hand over that passport.
— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) October 10, 2019