Oct. 18 (UPI) — Two men with ties to Rudy Giuliani pleaded not guilty in a New York City court Thursday to charges they were involved in a campaign finance scheme.
David Correia, 44, and Andrey Kukushkin, 46, each pleaded not guilty to one county of felony conspiracy. They’re among four people accused of participating in a plan to use hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign money with “Russian roots” to make campaign contributions.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, former associates of Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, also were charged last week in the scheme. They were arrested at Washington Dulles International Airport.
They worked with Giuliani to press Ukraine for an inquiry into Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, prosecutors said.
The indictments are semi-connected to an impeachment investigation by House Democrats trying to determine whether Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for action against the Bidens. Refusing Congress-approved aid for personal, political benefit is an impeachable offense, many experts say.
The indictments stated that Parnas and Fruman donated money and pledged to raise additional funds in 2018 for a candidate who was enlisted to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
FBI agents arrested Correia on Wednesday, accusing him of trying to build political support for a recreational marijuana business in Nevada and other states.