While former President Donald Trump ran a clean campaign and White House, unfortunately, some of his early associates seemingly tested the limits of the law, especially with regard to financial matters.
According to The Hill, that was evidenced this week as Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-born American businessman and former associate of Rudy Giuliani, were found guilty of violating campaign finance laws, specifically with regard to foreign money that was funneled to the U.S. in efforts to advance various business deals.
A man by the name of Andrey Kukushkin was convicted alongside Parnas, according to the outlet.
If Parnas’ name rings a bell, it’s likely because he was in the headlines early on in Trump’s presidency, as he was tied into the Ukrainian scandal that resulted in Trump’s first impeachment, in which he was later acquitted.
The two reportedly concocted a scheme in which they used significant funds from a Russian financier to funnel into the campaign accounts of various candidates in the 2018 midterm elections — candidates specifically that would have been able to advance their interests in the booming legal cannabis industry.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams released a statement on the conviction in which he praised the prosecutors involved for busting the law-breaking men.
“Campaign finance laws are designed to protect the integrity of our free and fair elections – unencumbered by foreign interests or influence – and safeguarding those laws is essential to preserving the freedoms that Americans hold sacred,” Williams said.
Williams added: “I commend the career prosecutors of this Office’s Public Corruption Unit whose outstanding work has helped bring to justice those who sought to illicitly influence our government.”
According to NBC News, Parnas and his associate were first arrested in 2019 as they were about to board a flight to Austria via a one-way ticket.