in the slammer
October 10, 2019

There's trouble in paradise — or at least in the Rudy zone.

Two of Rudy Giuliani's associates were arrested late Wednesday, suspected of violating campaign finance laws, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, reportedly worked with Giuliani in an effort to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Though there's little information about their nationalities, "both were believed to have been born in former Soviet republics," writes the Journal.

Both Parnas and Fruman are major donors to a pro-Trump fundraising committee. The Daily Beast reported that the super PAC they support, America First Action, may have improperly paid former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) after he pushed for the removal of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Sessions alleged Yovanovitch was biased against the Trump administration, something Giuliani and other Trump allies have repeatedly claimed as well. Yovanovitch was recalled in May, the same month Parnas and Fruman gave $325,000 to America First Action through a company called Global Energy Producers. Giuliani has alleged Yovanovitch was blocking important corruption investigations in Ukraine, namely an investigation into Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his work on a Ukrainian energy company board.

America First Action said in a statement it put the $325,000 donation in a separate account after a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The two men, who are reportedly Florida businessmen, have been under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan, reports the Journal, and were detained in Washington just before they were due to receive House subpoenas in the impeachment probe. They are expected to appear in court on Thursday. Summer Meza

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