Prosecutors Confirm Giuliani Associates Were Trying To Flee At Time Of Arrest
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Ukrainian-born associates of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, were attempting to flee the country when authorities arrested them on Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors said the pair were arrested at “Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia with one-way international tickets,” according to The Hill.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York’s office held a press conference on Thursday afternoon, detailing the charges and circumstances surrounding Parnas’ and Fruman’s arrests.
“These allegations are not about some technicality, a civil violation or an error on a form,” said William Sweeney, assistant director in charge at the FBI’s New York office. “This investigation is about corrupt behavior [and] deliberate lawbreaking.”
U.S Attorney Geoffrey Berman added: “Protecting the integrity of our elections and protecting our elections from unlawful foreign influence are core functions of our campaign finance laws and, as this office has made clear, we will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute those who engage in criminal conduct that draws into question the integrity of our political process.”
The indictment alleges that the contributions via the shell company Global Energy Producers were “made for the purpose of gaining influence with politicians so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least on Ukrainian government official with whom they were working.”
The Hill reported that Parnas and Fruman also allegedly lobbied a U.S. congressman for the firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who left her post earlier this year.
Further, the two men are alleged to have introduced Giuliani to Ukrainian officials in his quest to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.