CLC Complaint Results in Arrest of Two Ukrainian-American Trump Donors Connected to Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani speaking at a podium
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York speaking at a forum in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by gage Skidmore via Creative Commons.

Two Ukrainian-Americans who had been working with President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukrainian matters, were arrested late Wednesday for violating campaign finance laws. These arrests stemmed from a Campaign Legal Center (CLC) complaint.

In July 2018, CLC uncovered how these two men had laundered a six-figure contribution to President Trump’s super PAC through a shell corporation, and filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The DOJ indictment says Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas had pushed for the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and that those efforts “were conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.” Also, Fruman and Parnas introduced Giuliani to current and former Ukrainian prosecutors to discuss an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

CLC uncovered these secret donations and flagged them for the authorities last summer. We are pleased that federal law enforcement has conducted an investigation into these campaign finance crimes and made these two arrests. The public is now learning just how dangerous dark money can be in U.S. elections, including the potential for illegal foreign funds, which DOJ says were used here. The fact that these two individuals were working with Giuliani and Ukrainian government officials to alter U.S. policy in that country will obviously be relevant to the impeachment investigation. 

Trump’s push for Ukraine to investigate Biden was helped by two Soviet-born business partners who bought access with big political contributions illegally laundered through a shell corporation. As the indictment states, these contributions were made for the purpose of gaining influence with politicians to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working.

Read more about CLC’s actions to hold President Trump accountable for legal violations involving Ukraine.