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Utopia Talk / Politics / more Trump associate associates arrested
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 11:45:05
WASHINGTON — Two associates of the president’s private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who helped fund efforts to investigate one of President Trump’s political rivals, were charged in a separate case with violating campaign finance laws, according to court documents.

The two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, believed to be important witnesses in the House’s impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, were arrested on campaign finance charges. The arrests and charges were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, were also indicted.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman aided Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to gin up investigations in Ukraine into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, among other potentially politically beneficial investigations for Mr. Trump. Mr. Parnas had been scheduled to participate in a deposition with House impeachment investigators on Capitol Hill on Thursday, and Mr. Fruman on Friday. Neither had been expected to show up voluntarily. House Democrats were preparing to issue subpoenas to force them to do so.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were arrested and were expected to appear in court in Northern Virginia on Thursday, according to a spokesman in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.

The indictment said Mr. Parnas and Mr. Kukushkin are Ukrainian-born Americans, while Mr. Fruman was born in Belarus and became an American citizen. Mr. Correia is American-born. Mr. Kukushkin was arrested Thursday in California, and Mr. Correia was still at large, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman have acted as emissaries in Ukraine for Mr. Giuliani as he has sought to uncover information about, and encourage investigations into, Mr. Trump’s rivals, including Mr. Biden.

Mr. Parnas, who has known Mr. Giuliani for years, worked with Mr. Fruman to connect Mr. Giuliani to Ukrainian prosecutors who provided information to Mr. Giuliani, as The Times revealed in May.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman are based in South Florida, and are executives of an energy company that donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC last year, prompting a Federal Election Commission complaint by a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog accusing the men and the company of violating campaign finance laws.

Last month, Mr. Giuliani sought to minimize the significance of the campaign finance inquiry into the two men.

“They had a campaign finance issue,” he said in an interview late last month. “I referred them to a campaign finance expert who pretty much resolved it.” (<- good ole Rudy)

Their lawyer, John M. Dowd, who previously represented Mr. Trump against the special counsel’s inquiry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the arrest.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Thu Oct 10 11:51:18
The leader of the Orthodox Jewish organization that bestowed honors on two South Florida men sought for questioning in the congressional impeachment inquiry said Thursday he was unaware of the pair’s legal and political entanglements.

In a response to questions from McClatchy and the Miami Herald, Farley Weiss, president of the board of directors of the National Council of Young Israel, acknowledged his organization was “unaware of any potential issues” about Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. They are Soviet-born emigrees living in South Florida who have since been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of stories about Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine on behalf of President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press described them as Giuliani’s “Florida fixers” amid reporting in the Herald and elsewhere on how Parnas and Fruman helped Trump’s personal attorney connect with influential individuals in Ukraine as part of his mission to get that country to investigate Joe Biden, the president’s potential 2020 rival.

“In light of the circumstances, we will enhance our review of honorees at our future dinners,” Weiss said in an email.

New York gastroenterologist Dr. Joseph Frager, the group’s 1st vice president, last Friday described the men to the Herald as philanthropists. A visit by them to his home, accompanied by Giuliani, he said, was part of a fundraising effort that culminated in an award for the two.

Their philanthrophic impulses, however, did not extend to the organization that feted them at a March 31 gala.

“While we were hoping to receive money from them before or after the dinner for their being honored we have not received any money from them for their being honored,” Weiss said.

Neither Frager nor Weiss provided any detail on how long the group, which counts 175 Orthodox synagogues as members, had a relationship with the men and who made the introduction.

In his e-mail, however, Weiss took issue with an earlier Herald story that described the group as increasingly partisan.

“We reject that accusation. NCYI priorities are issues concerning the Jewish people and Israel and we rarely comment on issues in which these issues are not directly at issue,” Weiss wrote.

However, just weeks before the dinner that honored Fruman and Parnas with the group’s first-ever Chovevei Zion award, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency carried a story about a letter sent by 22 member synagogues asking the National Council of Young Israel to “immediately cease making all political pronouncements.”

In the statement admonishing Young Israel leadership for partisanship, the synagogues called on Weiss and others to “develop and publicize a transparent process for soliciting input” from its membership.

Fruman and Parnas are under congressional investigation for opening doors in Ukraine to Giuliani earlier this year as he sought to get Ukrainian authorities to launch an investigation into former Vice President Biden’s son Hunter and the son’s appointment to the board of directors of energy firm Burisma Holdings.

A recently released transcript of a July phone call of President Donald Trump appearing to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the Bidens triggered the rare impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.

Neither Fruman nor Parnas is well known in South Florida or elsewhere in the United States. Giuliani has described them as clients but hasn’t said what he does for them or why.

In a May 18 tweet that presaged what has unfolded, however, Giuliani tweeted about them as he attacked wealthy Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky, who has Israeli citizenship, headed the United Jewish Community of Ukraine and is a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which nationalized his assets after the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

“The notorious oligarch returned from a long exile and immediately threatened and defamed two Americans, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman,” read Giuliani’s tweet. “They are my clients and I have advised them to press charges.”

A May 22 story in the Ukrainian publication Strana.ua followed days later.

Giuliani gave an interview in Paris to the publication and called on Ukrainian authorities to investigate Kolomoisky for making threats against Parnas and Fruman, allegedly forcing them to flee Ukraine.

“These are American citizens, businessmen. I don’t know the motives why, in the very first interview after returning to Ukraine from a long exile, he began to denigrate them,” Giuliani told Strana. “I have no idea why he is so angry. But he must answer for his words.”

Neither Fruman nor Parnas — business partners and big GOP donors — have responded to requests this week for comments, directly or through legal representatives. Parnas briefly spoke to the Miami Herald last Thursday .

Giuiliani, Fruman and Parnas have all been contacted by congressional committees involved in the impeachment inquiry. It’s unclear if they intend to comply or risk facing subpoenas.

Fruman and Parnas are represented by John M. Dowd, an influential Washington attorney who helped defend President Trump during part of the recently concluded Russia probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.

Guiliani is represented by longtime friend and veteran Miami attorney Jon A. Sale.

In the Strana interview, Giuiliani did define his role in Ukraine as unconnected to the White House, an issue his lawyer may eventually have to confront.

“I am a private person and I do not represent the U.S. government position,” Giuliani told the Ukrainian publication.

He had previously told the New York Times his efforts had Trump’s support.

“He basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer,” Giuliani said.

Read more here: https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/investigations/article235776342.html
Thu Oct 10 11:54:07
In May, Ukrainian oligarch said Giuliani was orchestrating a ‘clear conspiracy against Biden’

Months before an intelligence community whistleblower accused President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani of digging for dirt on former vice president Joe Biden in Ukraine, many in that country knew what he was up to and some were talking about it publicly.

One Ukrainian oligarch in particular, a figure close to President Volodymyr Zelensky, claims to have first-hand knowledge of Giuliani’s activities because, he says, Giuliani’s business associates tried to rope him into the scheme. When this Ukrainian business tycoon, Ihor Kolomoisky, rejected Giuliani’s request for help, Giuliani attacked him on Twitter and called for him to be investigated. Kolomoisky then gave an on-the-record interview on Ukrainian television in which he predicted that Giuliani was soon going to be the center of a “big scandal” in the United States.

In May, Kolomoisky told Ukrainian media, in an interview barely noticed in Washington, that two of Giuliani’s business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, came to visit him in Israel in April to “demand” he set up a meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky. This was months before Ambassador Kurt Volker eventually did set up a meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky’s adviser Andriy Yermak.

“They wanted to have a meeting with Zelensky and show Giuliani that they had organized everything,” Kolomoisky said. “A big scandal may break out, and not only in Ukraine, but in the United States. That is, it may turn out to be a clear conspiracy against Biden.”

Kolomoisky owned the television station that distributed the comedy show in which Zelensky played the role of the president of Ukraine. He was living in Israel after the government in Kiev nationalized his bank amid accusations he embezzled billions of dollars. His relationship with Zelensky is long and complicated. But he said he rejected the “demand” from Parnas and Fruman that he connect Giuliani with Zelensky, who was then the incoming new president.

“Look, there is Giuliani, and there [are] two clowns, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were milking the bull here. They are Giuliani’s clients,” Kolomoisky told the Ukrainska Pravda website. “They came here and told us that they would organize a meeting with Zelensky. They allegedly struck a deal with [Prosecutor-general Yuriy] Lutsenko about the fate of this criminal case – Burisma, [former vice president] Biden, meddling in the U.S. election and so on.”

Kolomoisky is no innocent. In addition to being accused of extensive financial crimes, the Ukrainian-Jewish billionaire also stands accused of using quasi-military forces on behalf of his PrivatBank to corruptly take over other companies. The government forcibly nationalized PrivatBank in 2016. The Ukrainian official who made that decision was recently run over by a car and endured an arson attack on her home – with Kolomoisky the prime suspect.

But what’s important is not whether Kolomoisky is trustworthy – it’s that Giuliani’s attempts to get to Zelensky began well before Volker or the whistleblower got involved. And his efforts were not only well known, but public. In July, BuzzFeed published an extensive investigative report on what Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman were up to.

Giuliani told my Post colleagues this week that he has not done paid consulting work in Ukraine since 2017. He would not say if he is currently being paid by Parnas and Fruman, who were pursuing a natural gas export venture involving Ukraine at the same time.

Three congressional committees are demanding documents related to hundreds of thousands of dollars Parnas and Fruman donated to a pro-Trump Super PAC. Parnas told the Post he got involved in politics because he was a huge Trump supporter; Fruman declined to comment.

Kolomoisky, in his May interview, claimed to have lots of evidence about Giuliani’s efforts with Parnas and Fruman to dig up dirt on Biden and get various Ukrainian officials to help. He claims to have text messages from Parnas and Fruman detailing Giuliani’s motives and receipts of money they were paid.

“If we put aside conspiracy theories and some comedy staff, the situation was about their willingness to make both Lutsenko and Zelensky interested in continuing the investigation (into Biden),” he said. “There is so much interesting information that everyone will be interested [to know it]. I believe both U.S. and our law enforcers. And they will be very interested . . . .”

Lutsenko has recently said he found no evidence the Bidens committed any wrongdoing. Giuliani turned on Lutsenko this week, after working with him for months to push the Biden narrative.

Kolomoisky went public with his accusations about Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman after Giuliani tweeted on May 18 that Kolomoisky was under investigation by the FBI and had “threatened two American citizens,” Parnas and Fruman. Giuliani said Kolomoisky was an enemy of Trump and suggested Zelensky should arrest him.

Giuliani cancelled his own trip to Kiev in May after facing public criticism but told the New York Times on May 9 his trip was to advance his “meddling in an investigation.” I reported in May Giuliani was involved in a smear campaign against U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled early. On Wednesday, Giuliani admitted pushing a package of research that included allegations against Yovanovitch to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for him to “investigate.”

Congress likely will want to follow up and see if Kolomoisky has real evidence that confirms what Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman were doing. But regardless of whether you believe this Ukrainian oligarch, Giuliani’s meddling in Ukrainian politics and interference in U.S. foreign policy to advance the Biden accusations was extensive, public and predated the involvement of the State Department, Volker or the whistleblower.

Kolomoisky got at least one thing exactly right: Giuliani’s scheme would soon result in a “big scandal.”

Thu Oct 10 11:56:42
I like how there is almost always some kind of connection to Jews and Israel.
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 12:45:28
maybe Giuliani will follow the Trump associate trail to prison too

the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 12:53:07
Don Jr. hanging out w/ Parnas & Fruman (& presumably a 4th criminal, or someone brought along to pay the bill)

the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 13:07:09
a press conference about this is on now (CNN)

apparently the criminal duo lobbied for a Ukrainian official who wanted our ambassador removed

not mentioned by the FBI briefers now on TV, but Trump =did= remove the ambassador, after word from seeming criminal Giuliani

Ukraine corruption found, good work Giuliani
Thu Oct 10 13:19:15
I love how leftists constantly accuse Trump/Barr of corrupting the judiciary, but it's nothing but Trump associates who have been fucked over by nakedly politically-motivated inquiries since he entered office.

Trump should issue blanket pardons for everyone in his life, including himself, to shield against such bs.
Im better then you
2012 UP Football Champ
Thu Oct 10 13:22:21
Has it ever occured to you that the shadiest real estate developer in NYC could actually be breaking the law?
Thu Oct 10 13:47:38
I love how all of these mob bosses keep getting accused of organised crime, yet it's nothing but their lowly henchmen who have been fucked over by clearly biased investigations. Clearly the these poor mob bosses are innocent people being harassed by the fuzz.

- Said no intelligent (or, non-criminal) person ever.

Yes, ya flopping vagina, it takes time to get your shot at the head of the family. And a bunch of flunkies go down in the process.
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 14:00:38
"nakedly politically-motivated inquiries"

with overwhelming evidence leading most to plead guilty & the rest to be found guilty

meanwhile Barr is traveling the world to try to prove our own intel community was corrupt with no actual charges yet in that actual hoax
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 14:55:48
for anyone interested, a twitter thread w/ numerous links to articles on the two criminal associates of (another) criminal lawyer of criminal Trump:
Thu Oct 10 15:16:02
4/ Parnas and Fruman are well-connected in Ukraine. Fruman owns a number of businesses there, including a beach club in Odessa, Mafia Rave.


This is like, if Osama Bin Laden had a club and he named it Terror Rave.
Thu Oct 10 15:22:35
"it takes time to get your shot at the head of the family. And a bunch of flunkies go down in the process."

Except it's the flunkies who are the ones taking the shots...despite AG Burr supposedly having singlehandledly destroyed the integrity of the Justice Department.


What does Feisel Abdul Rauf have to do with this?


Easy to get people to plead guilty when you threaten to go after their family members if they dont, mafi-...sorry, Mueller-style.
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 15:32:54
you mean how Trump tried to get people to look into Cohen's father (thus committing the crime of witness intimidation)? or Trump's "when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families"?

prosecutors threaten to charge family members when they have criminal exposure... which of Trump's many criminal associates are you suggesting is completely innocent?
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 15:35:06

hey look, there's a tweet for this... 7 years ago to the day:

"Has Barack Obama been caught red handed laundering money into his campaign from illegal online foreign donations? Media?"

the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 15:52:48

a dreaded criminal links diagram

hi Don Jr! what made you have breakfast w/ these fine gentleman
Thu Oct 10 15:54:18
Mob cock, henchmen cock. I don't discriminate.
the wanderer
Thu Oct 10 22:37:50
re: "Mafia Rave", here's another one:

Indicted pro-Trump Ukraine researcher Lev Parnas told people he paid Rudy Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars to work for his firm, Fraud Guarantee.

Giuliani first seemed to admit working for the firm in 2018, then said he couldn't confirm.

these criminals have a knack for naming businesses

Fri Oct 11 13:02:13

Trump Had Marie Yovanovitch Removed on ‘False Claims,’ She Tells House Inquiry


Ms. Yovanovitch’s searing account, delivered at the risk of losing her job, could lend new momentum to the impeachment inquiry that imperils Mr. Trump. She said undermining loyal diplomats would embolden “bad actors” who will “see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system” and serve the interests of adversaries, including Russia.

“Today we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within,” she said. She said the allegations that she was disloyal to Mr. Trump, circulated by allies of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, were totally “fictitious.”

“I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me,” she said. But people associated with Mr. Giuliani “may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,” she said.

- -

And then Pompeo makes a tweet where he welcomes sanctions against people who are corrupt, lol:

We welcome @USTreasury’s Global #Magnitsky sanctions against Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Al-Cardinal & South Sudanese Kur Ajing Ater for their corrupt activities. The U.S. will never waver in its effort to target those who rob critical resources from vulnerable people.
Fri Oct 11 13:07:22
Also, isn’t robbing resources the whole business idea behind american predator capitalism?
the wanderer
Fri Oct 11 13:20:40
the corrupt criminal Trump admin tried to stop Yovanovitch from testifying, she ignored

finally some balls being shown
the wanderer
Tue Oct 15 00:08:18
Giuliani said Parnas’ company, Boca Raton-based Fraud Guarantee, whose website says it aims to help clients “reduce and mitigate fraud”, engaged Giuliani Partners, a management and security consulting firm, around August 2018. Giuliani said he was hired to consult on Fraud Guarantee’s technologies and provide legal advice on regulatory issues.

Giuliani said for the first time on Monday that the total amount [he was paid] was $500,000.

Giuliani told Reuters the money came in two payments made within weeks of each other.


could that sound any more suspicious?
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