Trump donors charged in campaign finance case

Saturday, 12 Oct, 2019

Federal authorities alleged that around the same time, Parnas "sought Congressman-1's assistance in causing the US government to remove or recall" the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie Yovanovitch.

Fruman attended a fundraiser for Trump's re-election campaign at the President's Mar-a-Lago estate in March 2018, an event where tickets began at $2,700 and went all the way to $50,000.

The indictment alleges that GEP was a shell company, with Parnas and Fruman listing political donations as coming from the company instead of unknown third parties, including at least one Ukrainian government official who is unnamed in the document.

The men are also accused of making false statements to the Federal Elections Commission to disguise the source of these contributions. "I think it's a bombshell because of its connection to Ukraine and Trump".

"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.

Parnas a Ukrainian, and Fruman, who was born in Belarus, helped introduce Giuliani into a top Ukrainian political circle, and Giuliani has said they helped him probe Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Giuliani told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday the men were heading to Vienna and that he wasn't scheduled to meet the two until they returned to Washington - meaning, by Giuliani's account, the three of them would've been in the same city at the same time but would not be seeing one another.

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

The effort to have Yovanovitch recalled was made at the request of one or more Ukrainian officials, according to the indictment. That happened about the same time that Parnas and Fruman committed to raising more than $20,000 for the politician. A review of campaign finance filings and his own public statements identify that Congressman as former Texas representative Pete Sessions.

Parnas is a Ukrainian businessman. The two are due to appear in court in Virginia on Thursday. They are due in court in NY next week.

Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney of the President, seems to be at unrest since two of his business associates being charged with campaign finance violations were arrested on Thursday.

Both men are USA citizens. All four are United States citizens, according to the indictment.

A lawyer for the men, John Dowd, hung up on an Associated Press reporter calling about the case. He added that the investigation is ongoing.

Parnas, who has known Giuliani for years, worked with Fruman to connect Giuliani to Ukrainian prosecutors who provided information to Giuliani, as The Times revealed in May.

The men were arrested Wednesday night as prosecutors say they were trying to leave the country on a one-way flight out of Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

In fact, the feds said, the company had no real business, and it was unclear where the PAC cash came from.

Prosecutors allege that Parnas and Fruman conspired to make illegal contributions in an effort to skirt the limit on federal campaign contributions. Mr. Trump's request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he investigate the Bidens has led to the House impeachment inquiry against him.

Under US law, foreign nationals are prohibited from donating to elections to restrict foreign influence on the US government. America First Action PAC spent over $3 million to benefit Rep. Sessions. A spokeswoman, Kelly Sadler, said the committee will "scrupulously comply with the law".

Abrams described several questions that this investigation raises about the secrecy surrounding these associates' activities, and said "So these are all questions that are going to be examined, and they are not the sort of questions that Rudy Giuliani wants to be associated with". Home Democrats might not want any GOP defectors to question Trump - an AP tally reveals 227 Democrats, plus Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash of MI, help the inquiry that would finish in articles of impeachment.

Yovanovitch on Friday told an impeachment committee in the House that Giuliani's representations of her to Trump were "fictitious".