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Federal prosecutors looking into Giuliani's donations to Trump fund and business dealings, reports say

Investigators 'eyeing' slew of possible crimes involving indicted associates of president's personal attorney

Chris Riotta
New York
Tuesday 26 November 2019 18:15 GMT
Donald Trump says he doesn't know if Rudy Giuliani is still his attorney

Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into Rudy Giuliani’s donations to a pro-Trump super PAC while "exploring a wide range of potential crimes" involving two of his associates who were previously charged with campaign finance violations.

Donald Trump’s personal attorney was previously reported to be working with Soviet-born businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to uncover dirt on one of the president’s possible 2020 opponents, Joe Biden, meeting with Ukrainian officials and claiming to have documents exposing corruption on the part of the former vice president.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has continued to investigate both men while looking at their dealings with Mr Giuliani, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

According to the newspaper: “Investigators are scrutinising Giuliani’s consulting business and eyeing donations made to America First Action, the main pro-Trump ­super PAC set up by his advisers and allies after his election, as well as its affiliated nonprofit.”

The prosecutors are reportedly investigating Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman over possible crimes including the failure to register as foreign agents, the destruction or alteration of evidence, aiding and abetting federal crimes and other potential campaign finance violations.

Both of Mr Giuliani’s associates, who were indicted in October, have pleaded not guilty, and the president’s personal attorney has denied any wrongdoing in his dealing with Ukraine.

Mr Giuliani has also previously defended his associates, saying he had “no reason to believe” Parnas and Fruman were “anything other than decent guys”.

Parnas has said through a lawyer he would testify before House committees investigating the president about his interactions with Mr Giuliani. Parnas’ financial security company reportedly paid $500,000 (£386,629) to Mr Giuliani for advising services.

The investigators at the Southern District of New York are also reportedly looking into the pair’s efforts to obtain business deals in the Ukrainian energy sector, which is known to have been corrupt over the years. This all was happening as Mr Giuliani was serving as the president’s personal legal counsel and pressing for dirt on the Bidens.

Mr Giuliani has long accused the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, of wrongdoing for serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm as his father served in the White House. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing on either part of the Bidens.

Parnas and Fruman also donated $325,000 (£253,163) to the pro-Trump super PAC in 2018, according to the Justice Department, which accused the pair of attempting hide the source of those funds by sending the money through a natural gas company the businessmen controlled, according to the Washington Post.

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