Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two associates of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who were indicted on election fraud charges earlier this year, reportedly tried to broker a major deal with the CEO of Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company at President Donald Trump’s flagship hotel in Washington D.C.
Vice reports that the two men pitched Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev on a deal to export natural gas from the United States to Ukraine at the Trump International Hotel in Washington shortly after former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was recalled after being targeted with a smear campaign.
“Taken together, these events appear to show how Parnas and Fruman attempted to profit from their connections to Giuliani while allegedly helping him search for damaging information about former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine,” Vice reports. “Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens are now at the center of President Trump’s all-but-certain impeachment in the House.”
Kobolyev’s attorney Lanny Breuer confirms to Vice that his client voluntarily spoke with prosecutors who are investigating Parnas, Fruman, and Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.
Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman were at the center of an effort to get Yovanovitch ousted from her ambassadorship even as they were pursuing private business interests in the country. Yovanovitch testified under oath that she believed the men were trying to push her out so they could personally enrich themselves.