Fact Check: Giuliani-Linked Indictments Have Nothing To Do With Trump-Zelensky Phone Call

(Tea Party PAC) – This week, the media was all in a tizzy over indictments handed down to two businessmen with ties to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani for campaign finance violations.

Because it is distantly related to Giuliani’s Ukraine investigation, the left is perfectly happy to have you believe that these men are the first to go down in the CIA “whistleblower” scandal over Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in July.

The Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry over this whistleblower blower claim that Trump had applied pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, even though all evidence points to the contrary.

Breitbart is fact-checking the claim, however, that the indictments of these two businessmen had anything to do with the Trump phone call, because, well, they didn’t.


Above: Lev Parnas, left, and Igor Fruman; Image credit: Alexandria Sheriff’s Office

The indictment was related to campaign finance violations that were reported in July 2018 — before the so-called “whistleblower” reported the call — and had nothing to do with the subject of the “impeachment inquiry.”

On Thursday, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment against four U.S. citizens, three of whom were born abroad. Two of them, Ukrainian-American Lev Parnas and Belarussian-American Igor Fruman, are political neophytes who are accused of passing campaign contributions from a foreign donor to pro-Trump organizations through a fictitious company. They also made other fraudulent individual contributions to politicians they hoped to influence “so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least one Ukrainian government official,” the indictment reads.

It is believed that these two businessmen were involved in Giuliani’s efforts to investigate the conflict of interest by former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Hunter was a paid board member of a Ukrainian oil and gas company.

But the indictment does not mention the Giuliani investigation at all. Nor does it mention the Ukraine call itself.

All the indictment and the phone call have in common is that they mention an effort to replace the former US Ambassador to Ukraine.

That’s it.

Paras and Fruman allegedly hoped that donations to a “Congressman-1” (who was later identified by the media as former Rep. Pete Sessions (R)) would inspire him to ask the administration to replace the ambassador.

Sessions said in a statement that he approached the State Department because he’d been informed by other colleagues that the ambassador had been trashing the president, not because of a request from these men.

In the White House transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky, Trump referred to the ambassador as having already been removed, calling her “bad news” as well as the “people she was dealing with in the Ukraine.”

So whatever Parnas and Fruman were doing relating to this ambassador was already afoot long before the Ukraine phone call.

Their campaign contributions also happened before the phone call. In fact, a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by a watchdog group a full year before the phone call between Trump and Zelenksy. In fact, this was a full year before Zelensky would even be elected!

Nonetheless, this is how the Associated Press reported on the indictments Thursday: “The indictment contained the first criminal charges stemming from a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukraine’s leader to dig up dirt on Democratic foe Joe Biden and his son.”

Breitbart refutes:

First of all, Trump did not ask Ukraine’s leader to “dig up dirt.” At the end of a long list of other requests, Trump asked him to work with the U.S. Attorney General and Giuliani to “look into” the circumstances in which Biden had the prosecutor fired while he was apparently investigating his son’s company.

Second, the charges do not “stem” from the July 25 phone call. They appear to be independent.

One final note: the Southern District of New York has done this before, indicting former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen during the Russian “collusion” investigation.

The media jumped to the wrong conclusions then. They are doing so again today.

And they wonder why we call them “fake news.”