Soviet-born Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on Wednesday night at Dulles Airport in Virginia for alleged campaign finance violations. As you can see in the mugshots, the Rudy Giuliani “clients” who are being represented by former Trump lawyer John Dowd, weren’t exactly loving the booking process at the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.
They are both charged with four separate counts: two counts of conspiracy, one count of making false statements; and one count of falsification of records:
Parnas and Fruman, the defendants, made additional contributions to federal candidates, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees that either (i) were intentionally funneled through, and made in the name of, a limited liability corporation to conceal that Parnas and Fruman were the true source of contributions and skirt the federal reporting requirements; or (ii) were reported in Parnas’s name but were funded by Fruman, which allowed Fruman to exceed limits on contributions to candidates or committees to whom he had previously contributed. The defendants further concealed this aspect of the conspiracy by, among other things, making and causing others to make false statements to the [Federal Election Commission].
House Democrats wanted them to appear for a deposition today and tomorrow pursuant to the ongoing impeachment inquiry, but it appears there weren’t any plans of complying with that request or others like it.
As John Dowd himself noted in Comic Sans, Parnas and Fruman have played a role in assisting Giuliani in his representation of President Donald Trump. The two were born in Ukraine and have been pictured before with Donald Trump Jr.:
Parnas and Fruman, who were born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union and now live in Florida, have become political players in recent years. In May 2018, Parnas posted pictures on Facebook of himself and Fruman with Trump in the White House and with the president’s son Donald Jr. in California. That was the same month their company, Global Energy Producers, was credited with gibing $325,000 to a campaign committee that supports Trump’s reelection.
You can read more about the context surrounding the charges here; the filing itself is below.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report. [Image via Alexandria Sheriff’s Office]