Two of Rudy Giuliani’s clients were arrested last night with one-way tickets out of the country on various campaign finance violations.
Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, David Correia, and Andrey Kukushkin were indicted in what the SDNY calls a conspiracy to make so-called “straw” donations to political campaigns.
The indictment says the defendants “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’ government.”
All but three have been detained – Correia has not been located as of yet. Parnas and Fruman were high profile clients of Rudy’s who were trying to arrange a liquid natural gas deal in Ukraine.
Trump’s goal of exporting more liquid natural gas to Europe to compete with Russian gas on the continent and thus reduce Putin’s influence has been a longstanding goal of the administration.
The four men were working on getting legal Marijuana licenses in Nevada to open dispensaries. They are all American citizens.
The SDNY said the investigation was ongoing but a bombshell report claimed that Rudy’s financial dealings with the two men are under investigation by SDNY.
From CNN: Rudy Giuliani’s financial dealings with two associates indicted on campaign finance-related charges are under scrutiny by investigators overseeing the case, law enforcement officials briefed on the matter said.
The FBI and prosecutors in Manhattan are examining Giuliani’s involvement in the broader flow of money that have become the focus of alleged violations that are at the center of the allegations against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the sources said. The sources did not say that Giuliani was a target of the investigation.
Giuliani told CNN he is not aware of any law enforcement scrutiny on his financial dealings with the men and he said he has not been interviewed by the FBI in the investigation.
When asked about it today, Trump said he did not know them and he takes pictures with everyone.
When asked by a reporter: “Are you concerned that Rudy Giuliani could be indicted?
Trump answered: “Well I hope not.”
Asked about two men with ties to Rudy Giuliani arrested earlier today, Pres. Trump says, “I don’t know those gentlemen. Now, it’s possible I have a picture with them, because I have a picture with everybody.”
“Maybe they were clients of Rudy,” he adds. “You’d have to ask Rudy.” pic.twitter.com/EzCIEA6QMz
— ABC News (@ABC) October 10, 2019
Me: Are you worried Rudy could be indicted?
Trump: “Well, I hope not. Again, I don’t know how he knows these people.”
Me: They’re his clients.
Trump: “OK, well then they’re clients…He’s got a lot of clients. I just haven’t spoken to Rudy about it, I don’t know.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 10, 2019