WASHINGTON – Federal investigators are conducting a broad investigation into two associates of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, and are seeking information about the former New York mayor’s consulting operation, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
As part of the inquiry, which already has resulted in campaign finance charges against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, prosecutors in Manhattan are considering a range of additional offenses, including obstruction, fraud and failure to register as a foreign agent.
Subpoenas issued in the case have sought information about Giuliani and his management consulting operation, Giuliani Partners, said the person who is not authorized to comment publicly.
Giuliani has not been charged with wrongdoing, but USA TODAY reported last month that U.S. counterintelligence agents had been examining the former mayor’s dealings with Parnas and Fruman since at least early 2019.
Attorney Kenneth McCallion, who has represented several Ukrainian clients in U.S. court cases, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, told USA TODAY in October that agents had contacted him in February or March to discuss Giuliani’s business dealings with the two men.
Giuliani did not respond Monday to a request for comment, though he has said before that he is unaware of any federal investigation of his activities. Parnas’ attorney Edward MacMahon declined to comment.
Disclosure of a broader inquiry was first reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal.
The Soviet-born Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty to charges that they conspired to circumvent federal campaign financing laws by funneling foreign money to U.S. political candidates and committees in a scheme to buy influence.
The two men, who now live in Florida, played instrumental roles in connecting Giuliani with Ukrainian officials as Giuliani sought information about the financial dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden – one of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign challengers.
Trump’s attempt to seek Ukraine’s assistance in pursuing damaging information against the Bidens is now at the center of a House impeachment inquiry.
Giuliani has refused to provide information to House investigators about his dealings in Ukraine on Trump’s behalf.
But a lawyer for Parnas has told CNN his client is willing to tell Congress about alleged meetings that the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss an effort to smear Joe Biden.
Attorney Joseph Bondy alleged that former Ukraine prosecutor Victor Shokin told Parnas that he met last year with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a staunch Trump ally. Nunes has said that the account is false.
Giuliani, meanwhile, has done business in Ukraine since at least 2008. In June 2017, he delivered a speech called “Global Challenge, the Role of the U.S. and the Place of Ukraine,” according to a post on the website of the Pinchuk Foundation.
Victor Pinchuk, a billionaire and the son of a former Ukrainian president, moderated the event and invited future Ukrainian leaders “to shape the proper messages that Mr. Giuliani would bring” to the U.S., the foundation said on its website.
Giuliani met with Ukraine government officials, including then-President Petro Poroshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko, who was prosecutor-general at the time.
Giuliani subsequently met with Lutsenko in New York in January and a month later in Warsaw, Poland, according to a whistleblower complaint that triggered the House impeachment inquiry.
Parnas and Fruman, according to Ukrainian media reports, helped arrange Lutsenko’s New York meeting with Giuliani.
The pair’s sizable campaign contributions in the U.S. attracted the scrutiny of federal election authorities. Their company, Global Energy Producers, was credited with giving $325,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee in May 2018.
Although Global Energy Producers was identified as the source of the contribution to America’s First Action SuperPAC, financial records show that the money came via a circuitous route through another company linked to Fruman, according to a federal indictment.
America First has said it would cooperate with federal authorities.