They are going to make their initial court appearance today in the Eastern District of Virginia here, outside of D.C, but this case, of course, is based up in NY. When I suggested this evening instead, his response was a bit more curious.
MARTIN: Can you begin by telling us what we know about these men, how they're connected to Giuliani? He didn't offer any details beyond that ...
The business relationship between President Donald Trump's private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the men charged Thursday in a campaign finance scheme is a subject of the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by federal authorities in NY, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Giuliani had lunch with Fruman and Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington hours before the two were arrested, the Journal reported.
Businessmen with ties to Rudy Giuliani lobbied a U.S. congressman in 2018 for help ousting the American ambassador to Ukraine around the same time they committed to raising money for the lawmaker. The committees have sent subpoenas to the State Department, White House, Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget, as well as to Giuliani and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
Though the indictment does not indicate political parties, previous lawsuits identify Fruman as an invited guest of the president at his golf resort Mar-a-Lago. When I called at 3 p.m. ET to ask about his Vienna trip, a woman claiming to be his communications director answered the phone.
Whitaker said Fruman's donation was designated for Barr through Protect The House, a joint fundraising committee that raised more than $600,000 in 2018 to try to defend Republican House members facing tough challengers. In the background, Plott heard the president's lawyer yelling "asshole" at the TV. "Oh, sorry", the woman told me. Why was Giuliani-if what he told me was true-planning to be in the same city a day later?
The defendant's lawyers - Mr Giuliani and former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey - reportedly proposed dropping the case against their client in exchange for an American pastor held in Turkish custody. The two men are thought to have played instrumental roles in the Trump 2020 campaign's ongoing efforts to discredit Democratic rival Joe Biden by way of digging up dirt on the business interests and allegedly corrupt activities of his son, Hunter Biden.
"Parnas and Fruman, who had no significant prior history of political donations, sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working", the indictment reads. Parnas was Giuliani's fixer in Ukraine, introducing him to current and former officials as far back as 2018, CNN has reported. Giuliani has represented Parnas and Fruman in the past.
Parnas, in a red V-neck shirt and gold chain, waves at the camera and says "Hi Moshe, how you doing?"
Sessions, 64, has denied wrongdoing. Now he's got to manage the much more hard task of keeping their jail time to a minimum (or keeping them out of jail... though the case looks pretty damning at this juncture).
Trump recalled Yovanovitch from Ukraine on May 20.
The White House has kept mum about the arrests. A second screen shot shows Parnas and Fruman with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, three weeks later. Giuliani has said he refuses to testify or provide documents to the House Intelligence Committee.
A judge decided Thursday to have their passports seized and the bond set at $1 million each. The Trump administration is seeking to block the issuance of green cards and visa applications to those who might later have to access public services. "I was first approached by these individuals for a meeting about the strategic need for Ukraine to become energy independent", he said. "Now it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody, I have a picture with everybody here", Trump said, according to a pool report. The fact that the last lunch that these guys had was with Rudy Giuliani, they were not planning on unsealing this indictment, the United States attorney wasn't.