After federal investigators arrested Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman last week as they boarded one-way flights to Vienna, their close associate Rudy Giuliani wasn't sure he'd been paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars" by Parnas' fraud-mitigation firm, Fraud Guarantee, as Parnas reportedly attested. On Monday, Giuliani was sure, telling Reuters that Fraud Guarantee paid him half a million dollars for legal and technical consulting work last year.
In their indictment of Parnas and Fruman, federal prosecutors say an unidentified Russian businessman arranged for two payments of $500,000 to be wired from foreign bank accounts to a U.S. account controlled by Fruman in September and October 2018. At least part of that money was allegedly used to try to influence U.S. politicians and candidates on Ukraine policy, in violation of federal law. Giuliani told Reuters he's sure his $500,000 came from "a domestic source," though he did not identify the source or explain how he was "100 percent" certain. "I know beyond any doubt the source of the money is not any questionable source," Giuliani insisted.
The federal prosecutors in Manhattan who indicted Parnas and Fruman are also looking into Giuliani's interactions with the duo and Giuliani's other business in Ukraine. Parnas and Fruman were involved in Giuliani's attempts to pressure Ukraine's government to investigate President Trump's domestic political rival Joe Biden. Giuliani is Trump's personal lawyer and fixer, and his legal troubles could also have serious implications for Trump, CNN's Chris Cuomo explained Monday night.
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Giuliani's $500,000 paycheck, for work he said started in August 2018 and was completed by 2019, may not seem exorbitant for such a high-flyer, but one of his main attacks against the Bidens is that fellow lawyer Hunter Biden was apparently paid $50,000 a month by a Ukrainian gas company, ostensibly for similar regulatory compliance work.
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