SDNY: Investigation Into Giuliani Pals’ Campaign Finance Violations Is Ongoing

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a news conference on March 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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October 10, 2019 2:43 p.m.

The Southern District of New York’s investigation into the actions of associates of Rudy Giuliani who violated campaign finance laws is ongoing, SDNY U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Thursday, following the arrest of the two Giuliani allies the night before.

That means the probe could possibly sprawl beyond the charges already brought against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, as well as David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin for conspiring to skirt federal laws against foreign interference to gain political influence and avoid properly disclosing political donations.

Both Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Washington’s Dulles airport Wednesday evening just as they were about to board an international flight. Various news outlets previously reported that the pair were attempting to flee the country. Berman confirmed they both had one-way tickets.

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Berman outlined the flow of money as it is alleged in the indictment, which TPM covered here. The two were allegedly plotting to “advance the political interests¬†of at least one foreign¬†official, a Ukrainian government¬†official who sought the¬†dismissal of the U.S. Ambassador¬†to Ukraine,” Berman said.¬†

“Protecting the integrity of our¬†elections and protecting our¬†elections from unlawful foreign¬†influence are core functions of¬†our campaign finance laws,” he said. “As this office has made clear,¬†we will not hesitate to¬†investigate or prosecute those¬†who engage in criminal conduct¬†that draws into question the¬†integrity of our political¬†process.¬†And I want to add that this¬†investigation is continuing.”

According to William Sweeney, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York office, at least one suspect — Correia — is still at-large.

Notably, the SDNY’s public corruption unit is involved in the investigation — the same unit of prosecutors that handled the SDNY’s case against Michael Cohen’s as well as other cases related to the Russian election interference.

The duo’s arrest is explosive given their role in Giuliani and President Trump’s campaign to pressure Ukraine into investigating Trump’s political rival — former Vice President Joe Biden. The two were meant to appear before House committees handling the impeachment inquiry on Thursday and Friday mornings.

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