The two Soviet-born men who reportedly acted as “fixers” for Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani in their campaign to force the Ukrainian government to stage a bogus investigation into Joe Biden received “financing” from a shadowy, fugitive Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash, according to an investigative report by the Reuters news agency on Friday.
The two men described as “clients” by Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested by federal authorities on Wednesday, and charged with funneling hundreds of thousands in Russian cash to Republican politicians and causes — including a $325,000 donation to a super PAC devoted to reelecting Trump in 2020, as The Inquisitr reported.
Trump on Thursday denied knowing Fruman and Parnas, even though the pair reportedly dined with the president at the White House in May. The pair also dined with Giuliani as the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, just hours before they were busted at Dulles Airport as they were preparing to fly to Frankfurt, Germany, on one-way airline tickets.
Parnas served as a translator for lawyers representing Firtash, who has been under indictment by federal prosecutors in Chicago since 2014, in connection to an alleged major bribery scheme involving titanium mining, according to an NBC News report.
Firtash was arrested in 2014 by authorities in Vienna, Austria, who set his bail at $174 million. But Firtash, who is reportedly a multi-billionaire, paid the bail and has lived in Vienna, where he has fought extradition to the United States for the past five years.
According to the NBC News report, Firtash — who is described by U.S. authorities as an “upper-echelon” associate of the Russian mob — made his billions from a natural gas profit-skimming scheme set up by Vladimir Putin. The Russian president allegedly installed Firtash as a middleman for gas sales from Russian to Ukraine and allowed him to take a cut from each sale.
But Firtash now believes, according to an analysis by Foreign Policy magazine, that he can exonerate himself by promoting the conspiracy theory pushed by Giuliani and Trump that Biden is involved in Ukrainian corruption.
During his time as vice president, Biden spearheaded an international anti-corruption effort aimed at forcing the dismissal of a top prosecutor in that country who was widely seen as corrupt — and an obstacle to anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine.
But Firtash has latched on to the claim that it was somehow the handiwork of Biden that has prevented him from returning to Ukraine — a claim for which there appears to be no basis, according to Foreign Policy. Parnas and Fruman have also worked for Giuliani to recruit the Ukraine government to support the conspiracy theory about Biden, with Firtash “financing” their activities, according to the Reuters report. However, the outlet did not specify the exact nature of the work the two arrested Giuliani associates performed for Firtash.