Two Giuliani Associates Subpoenaed in House Impeachment Inquiry
WASHINGTON – Two Russian-born associates of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, were subpoenaed in the House impeachment inquiry just hours after their arrests on campaign finance charges.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been tied to efforts by Giuliani to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
They were arrested on a four-count indictment Thursday morning related to a $325,000 donation to a political action committee supporting Trump’s reelection.
The charges include conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records. They are the first criminal charges stemming from the Ukraine controversy.
In a joint letter sent to Trump attorney John Dowd Thursday afternoon, Reps. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; and Eliot Engel, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs said they expect Parnas and Fruman to turn “key documents” over to Congress by Oct. 16.
They go on to remind Dowd the two men are private citizens and “not employees of the Executive Branch.”
“They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry. They are required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas,” the chairmen said. “They are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance, and obstruction.”
“In addition to providing the subpoenaed documents, the Committees also expect your clients to appear to testify about these matters at a later date,” the letter said.
Parnas and Fruman allegedly used wire transfers from a corporate entity they controlled to make the $325,000 donation to the America First Action committee in 2018. But wire transfer records that became public through a lawsuit show that the corporate entity reported as making the transaction was not the true source of the money.
Prosecutors allege that Parnas and Fruman conspired to make illegal contributions in an effort to skirt the limit on federal campaign contributions.
The men are also accused of making contributions to candidates for state and federal office, joint fundraising committees and independent expenditure committees in the names of other people.
Prosecutors also allege that Parnas urged a U.S. congressman to seek the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, at the behest of Ukrainian government officials.
That happened about the same time that Parnas and Fruman committed to raising more than $20,000 for the politician.
Although the indictment does not mention the congressman’s name, Roll Call has identified him as former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who just last week announced a new bid for the House.
According to Roll Call, Sessions told a Texas radio show on Sunday that he met with the two men, and Federal Elections Commissions documents show he accepted campaign donations from them during his tight 2018 race.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested late Wednesday night at Dulles International Airport and were booked at a local jail in Alexandria, Virginia to await their formal arraignment.
Two other men, David Correia, a U.S. businessman, and Andrew Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, were also charged in the case.
Neither John Dowd or former New York City Mayor Giuliani could immediately be reached for comment.
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