As The Inquisitr reported, two of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested Wednesday on charges of campaign finance violation. The two men arose seemingly out of nowhere as major Republican donors and reportedly played a role in Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on Joe Biden — the scandal that sparked the current impeachment probe into Trump.
In the wake of the new scandal, FBI’s William Sweeney addressed the charges against the men at a presser, which can be viewed on Twitter.
“Campaign finance laws exist for a reason,” he said. “The American people expect and deserve an election process that has not been corrupted by the influence of foreign interests.”
Per ABC News, the indictment reveals that Parnas and Fruman’s donations were made with the intention of “gaining influence with politicians” to advance both their personal interests and the political interests of the Ukrainian government. In addition, the pair were reportedly working in tandem with at least one Ukraine government official.
Parnas was recently revealed to have donated $2,700 in June 2018 to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has notably defended Trump in the wake of accusations of bribery following his controversial call with Zelensky, which has pushed even some Republicans to support his impeachment. The donation suggests that McCarthy may have a financial interest influencing his support for Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Two men with ties to Giuliani "sought political influence not only to advance their own financial interests, but to advance the political interest of...a Ukrainian government official ho sought the dismissal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine." pic.twitter.com/yKIb6vaZw8— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) October 10, 2019
Via Twitter, author and attorney Seth Abramson highlighted that the indictment against Parnas and Fruman is what prevented them from fleeing and paralleled the situation to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“The indictment also prevented them from fleeing, which many witnesses in the Trump-Russia case (Mifsud, Kilimnik, and some others) have done (with respect to whatever country they’re in at the time) when they know a Rubicon has been crossed as to their questioning/prosecution.”
Abramson added that the indictment was timed to have maximum control over Parnas and Fruman to obtain information on Giuliani and prevent the pair from testifying in Congress. However, he suggested that the public avoids being “distracted” by the fact that the witness will never make it to Congress and instead focus on their attempt to flee.
“Focus on flight (fleeing) as consciousness of guilt, instead,” he said.
Abramson ended his thread by again touching on the Mueller investigation — the subject of his recent books — claiming that Trump and Giuliani wanted to let Trump’s now-imprisoned former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Russian intelligence-linked partner, Konstantin Kilimnik, flee Ukraine. He also highlighted that former Trump campaigner George Papadopoulos, who spent 12 days in federal prison, lied to the FBI to let Russian agent Joseph Mifsud escape the U.S.