Two business associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been charged with a scheme to route foreign money into U.S. elections, according to a newly unsealed indictment, reports the Washington Post. The two men, who helped Giuliani investigate former vice president Joe Biden, were arrested Wednesday night in Virginia. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia on Thursday. The indictment charges that Parnas, Fruman and other 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 the candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”
The indictment also charges that Fruman and Parnas schemed to donate money to an unidentified U.S. congressman, at the same time they were asking that congressman to get the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed from her job. In the spring of 2018, Parnas met with the congressman seeking his “assistance in causing the U.S. government to remove or recall the then-U. S. Ambassador to Ukraine … Parnas’s efforts to remove the Ambassador were conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials,” the indictment says.