Two Soviet-born businessmen who helped President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden are scheduled to be arraigned in Manhattan federal court later Wednesday on campaign finance charges.
Lev Parnas, a US citizen born in Ukraine, and Igor Fruman, a US citizen born in Belarus, are expected to plead not guilty to charges they made illegal campaign contributions to politicians and political action committees.
The two hid the funds from foreign contributors through a series of straw donors to advance their financial interests and that of a Ukrainian official who wanted then-US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fired, prosecutors said.
Among the donations was $325,000 Parnas and Fruman funneled to a super PAC that backed pro-Trump candidates that they falsely reported as coming from a US-based natural gas company.
The twosome worked with Giuliani and former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who pressed Trump to fire Yovanovitch.
The president fired her in May.
Giuliani also said the two helped him as he tried to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked for an energy company in Ukraine.
The House launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump after a whistleblower’s complaint revealed the president in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky urged him to probe the Bidens.
Parnas and Fruman have been free on $1 million bond since they were arrested earlier this month at Dulles International Airport in Virginia where they were ready to board a Vienna-bound flight.
With Post wires