Donald Trump’s TV attorney former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani comes across as a buffoon. He may be that, but he is also Trump’s major fixer, negotiating the tricky pathways of corruption. Life is just beginning to get very interesting for Giuliani.
House Democrats have subpoenaed two shady Florida businessmen. They participated in Giuliani’s unpleasant attempts to dig up fake dirt on former vice president Joe Biden’s son. The VP has been Trump’s top-polling Democratic opponent for the 2020 presidential election.
Those subpoenas went to Russian-born Lev Parnas and Ukrainian-born Igor Fruman to obtain documents related to that Giuliani errand. The two men became U.S. citizens but last night, they were arrested at airports and charged with campaign finance violations. Both men had one-way international tickets out of the country.
If they planned to travel to a country with an extradition agreement, the two could have eventually been returned. If their destination had no extradition agreement, it would have been virtually impossible. Fortunately, the FBI captured them before they could leave. Parnas and Fruman appeared in a Virginia federal court today.
All three chairs of the House committees at the forefront of the House impeachment inquiry sent a joint letter to their attorney and former Trump attorney John Dowd requesting the documents by October 15. The chairs of those powerful committees are the Intelligence Committee with Adam Schiff (D-CA), Foreign Affairs with Eliot Engel (D-NY), and the Oversight and Reform with Elijah Cummings (D-MD), according to The Miami Herald.
The letter went to Dowd stating that these men must comply with the subpoenas even though the White House has stonewalled every testimony and document. The letter read:
‘Your clients are private citizens who are not employees of the Executive Branch,” the chairmen wrote. They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry. They are required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas. They are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance, and obstruction.’
Dowd had said that neither Parnas nor Fruman planned to comply with an earlier request from the committees for documents and depositions that had been scheduled for this week.
According to the committees, Dowd sent an email stating that his clients refused and:
‘…agree with and adopt the position of the White House counsel.’
The committees demanded documents concerning contributions or “offers of anything of value” directly or indirectly related to U.S. campaigns, parties, and political action committees. That included Trump’s major PAC, America First Action.
The committees wanted not only the documents but also communication that involved a scheme to get dirt on the Biden family, Hillary Clinton, and the DNC (Democratic National Committee.)
Dowd’s letter from the committees to Parnas and Fruman read:
‘…assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump [and represented by Giuliani] in connection with their personal and business affairs.’
The two men donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates. They gave $325,000 to Trump’s America First Action PAC in spring. They funneled the money through an illegal LLC named Global Energy Producers (GEP) in a straw donor scheme.
Both men were charged with conspiracy, providing false information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and falsification of records.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order