Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 11:24:08 AM EST
Two Giuliani fixers face charges in US court | Kyiv Post | [Limited free articles]
In January 2019, Parnas and Fruman then introduced Guiliani to two highly controversial former Ukrainian prosecutors -- former General Prosecutor of Ukraine Viktor Shokin and his successor, Yuriy Lutsenko.
During these meetings, Lutsenko and Shokin alleged that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections on Hillary Clinton's behalf and that the U. S. Embassy in Ukraine, under the direction of U. S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch at the time, was secretly assisting.
Giuliani was forced to reveal supplied notes of the Jan. 25-26 conversations with Lutsenko to the U. S. State Department, which turned them over to Congress. The notes also included an account of a Jan. 23 phone call with Shokin.
These meetings were organized by Parnas and Fruman and as stated in the notes they were present during these conversations.
Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr., Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. (Credit: The Campaign Legal Center via AP)
Continued below the fold ...
The account suggests that Lutsenko provided the basis for Giuliani's accusations that Joe Biden abused his office during his time as vice president by pressuring then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin in 2016 to protect his son, Hunter Biden, from criminal investigation in Ukraine.
Lutsenko alleged that Artem Sytnyk, head of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and Sergii Leshchenko, a Ukrainian journalist and then-lawmaker, meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections and Yovanovitch was assisting them by providing patronage.
Among all other claims, Lutsenko said that Sytnyk told his deputy during a trip to an anti-corruption event in Panama that he wants Clinton to win, while Yovanovych sees Sytnyk as the next president of Ukraine.
Two days before Lutsenko, Shokin was interviewed by Giuliani and claimed that Poroshenko "told Shokin not to investigate Burisma as it was not in the interest" of the Bidens. Shokin stated that the investigations stopped out of fear of the United States, and that he had been removed as prosecutor general at Biden's request.
Much of what the two told Giuliani amounted to unsubstantiated claims, later debunked as groundless by U.S. and Ukrainian officials, journalists, anti-corruption activists, and later by Lutsenko himself in multiple interviews.
In their later attempt to promote Giuliani's agenda the two met with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who is close to Zelensky and whose channel led to him being elected. The meeting occurred days after Zelensky was elected president.
OCCRP reported that Fruman and Parnas were introduced to the oligarch by Alexander Levin, a pro-Trump businessman, on the pretence that they wanted to talk about their plan to sell gas to Ukraine.
However, Kolomoisky said in an interview that the two wanted Kolomoisky to help them arrange a meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky.
Zelensky, during an Oct. 10 press conference, while answering a question on why he didn't meet with Giuliani, said "it's not a president's level to meet a lawyer."
○ At Putin's side, an army of Jewish billionaires | JPost - June 2012 | [incl. Alexander (Aaron) Levin]
Earlier post about OCCPR Report of July 22 - Worldwide Organized Crime.
Florida Businessmen Who Helped Giuliani in Ukraine Arrested on Campaign Finance Violations | NBC News |
Two Soviet-born business partners from Florida, who made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republican campaign committees and helped Rudy Giuliani meet a key Ukrainian prosecutor, were arrested Wednesday on charges tied to campaign finance violations.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas were arrested on a four-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records.
Federal agents took the pair into custody just before they boarded a flight from Washington Dulles International Airport, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News. Their destination was not was known, but officials said the men had a one-way ticket to leave the U.S. Fruman and Parnas appeared in federal court Thursday in Washington, D.C.
The two men were central to Giuliani's efforts to get government officials in Ukraine to investigate business dealings by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in the war-torn former Soviet republic.
The big PAC donation in May 2018 was part of a flurry of political spending tied to Parnas and Fruman, with at least $478,000 in donations flowing to GOP campaigns and PACs in little more than two months.
The money enabled the relatively unknown entrepreneurs to quickly gain access to the highest levels of the Republican Party, including face-to-face meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
It is not yet clear when the two men first met Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney. But earlier this year, according to Ukrainian media reports, Parnas and Fruman were spotted in Kyiv, where they were frequent visitors to then-Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko, who sought to portray himself as an uncompromising fighter against corruption.
Several senior U.S. law enforcement officials told NBC News the congressman is former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Sessions lost his re-election bid last year.
In May 2018, Parnas posted a photo of himself and his business partner David Correia with Sessions in his Capitol Hill office, with the caption "Hard at work!!"
Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, were also charged in the case. A federal judge in San Francisco ordered Kukushkin held on Thursday pending a bail hearing to determine whether he is considered a flight risk.
In a May 2018 letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sessions asked for the ambassador's removal, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. In an interview Sunday on NBC DFW's Lone Star Politics, Sessions defended the request he made in a "private letter" to Pompeo as "feedback."
○ The Story Behind Chris Steele – Ukraine and Nuland
From my earlier diaries on Ukraine and corruption ...
○ Impeachment: Key Witness Envoy Kurt Volker Resigns
○ Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue
○ Ukraine MP election: Removing Oligarchs ... Some
○ Oligarchs Weaponized Cyprus Branch of Ukraine's Largest Bank to Send $5.5 Billion Abroad | OCCRP - April 2019 |
Related reading ...
○ Ukraine's Zelenskiy sticks to criticism of Merkel, Macron in Trump call | DW |
○ Two Ukrainian prosecutors concoct wild conspiracy theories that drive Trump's foreign policy | Kyiv Post |