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From this morning's Arizona Republic:
WASHINGTON – Two Ukrainian born business partners, who showered Republican campaign committees with nearly $500,000 and dined with Donald Trump at the White House, were arrested late Wednesday on campaign finance charges as they tried to leave the country, federal authorities said Thursday.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman helped Rudy Giuliani meet a Ukrainian prosecutor as the president’s personal lawyer pushed for an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. Both of the men are among the prospective witnesses House Democrats want to question in their impeachment inquiry.
The indictment charges Parnas, Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin with federal campaign finance law violations. The charges relate to a $325,000 donation to a group supporting Trump’s reelection.
It alleges they “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 candidates, campaigns and the candidates’ governments.”
Parnas and Fruman had no significant history of political donations and “sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working,” the indictment charges. To hide their sources of funding and capital, Parnas and Fruman created a limited liability company called Global Energy Producers and “intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of their own names,” the indictment says.
The indictment alleges that Parnas, Fruman, Correia and Kukushkin schemed with an unidentified foreign national to get retail marijuana licenses in states, including Nevada. In 2018, Correia drafted a table of prospective political donations.
The plan allegedly included two $500,000 transfers. The foreign national arranged for the funds to be wired from overseas accounts to a U.S. corporate bank account controlled by Fruman and another individual, the indictment charges.
Giuliani said he couldn’t comment on the case and didn’t represent the men in campaign finance matters.