Florida men tied to Giuliani arrested on campaign charges

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The indictment unsealed Thursday does not name Giuliani nor does it claim he knew of or was involved in the alleged scheme.

Last week, he told Reuters: "Parnas and Igor helped me on certain things". They are my clients and I have advised them to press charges. "They have a strong interest in America not backing away from Ukraine".

One of the events was an exclusive affair held at a South Florida residence with fewer than 30 people attending, including the governor.

Two Florida businessmen tied to President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been arrested on campaign finance violations resulting from a $325,000 donation to a political action committee supporting Trump's re-election.

Federal Magistrate Judge Michael Nachmanoff imposed a lengthy, strict set of conditions that Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman must meet to be released including each posting $US1 million bond and being placed on Global Positioning System monitoring in home detention. House Democrats have subpoenaed documents from Giuliani relating to those interactions. Parnas made their request to the congressman in part at the behest of one of more Ukraine government officials, the indictment states. Attorney General Bill Barr has been "aware and supportive" of SDNY officials and knew that both men would be arrested and charged Wednesday, a senior Justice Department official told Fox News.

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and has described the impeachment probe as a partisan smear.

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Sessions lost his House seat from Texas a year ago to a Democrat. In a statement quoted by Politico, he said his motivation in urging the removal of Yovanovitch was his belief that "political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas".

Neither Giuliani nor the effort to discredit Biden are mentioned in the indictment, but it does give details of a political donation to an unnamed congressman in 2018, whose help they sought in seeking to oust the then USA ambassador to Kyiv, Marie Yovanovitch, who was putting pressure on the Ukrainian government at the time to tackle corruption.

"The Department of Energy is aware of the House Committees' letter to Secretary Perry and it is now under review by DOE's Office of General Counsel", said department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes. "Prosecutors say their extensive political contributions, beginning in early 2018, were created to curry favor with American policymakers in an effort to advance Parnas' and Fruman's political and business endeavors". 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!"

Photographs of Frumas and Parnas with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, have also circulated on social media.

Parnas told Reuters last month he knew the FBI was investigating him but was not sure why. "I don't know what the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants". I'm not going to comment, what they are doing. The lawmaker had also received about $3 million in independent expenditures from a super political action committee that Parnas and Fruman had been funding.

The pair were accused of funneling foreign funds to United States political campaigns, including $325,000 which went to a fundraising committee for Trump's 2020 reelection. The statement said that the money was placed "in a segregated bank account", was not used, and "will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved".

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