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2 Giuliani Associates Arrested, Charged With Campaign-Finance Violations

• Late Wednesday, two foreign-born Florida businessmen were arrested. As per Federal prosecutors, the two funneled money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates.
• Further, Reuters notes that the two helped Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden. Both are facing federal campaign finance charges.
• Ukraine-born Lev Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman were arrested at an airport outside Washington. Both were heading to Vienna.
• Prosecutors allege that the duo, in 2018, donated $325,000 to America First Action, which is a pro-Trump political action committee. The money was falsely reported to have come from a natural gas company, the indictment said. Also, the two donated a minimum of $1 million from an unidentified Russian businessman to federal and state offices candidates to buy influence, Prosecutors say.
• Commenting on the arrest, Trump admitted that he may have a photo with the now-arrested men, but said that doesn’t know them, nor has anything to do with their alleged crimes. “I don't know those gentlemen. Now it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody, I have a picture with everybody here," he said, as per CNN.
• Prior to February 2018, the duo had almost no record of political giving. Arrest of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman is the latest dramatic development in the US political turmoil over Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk in July. During the call, Trump asked the Ukrainian President to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son.

Top Left Analysis

Giuliani's fall from grace 

by Laura V - October 12

How did Rudy Giuliani get here? After 9/11 Giuliani was a national hero. America’s mayor. Something happened to this guy, who was once someone to be either feared or admired (depending on your personal affect to people like him). I myself appreciate a thoughtful disciplinarian who doesn't wait for chaos to escalate, but tackles it in the thick of things. Giuliani was once such a person.

He was a boisterous prosecutor who earned bipartisan admiration for his ruthless tactics, outwitting the likes of mafia bosses and Wall Street crooks. He did amazing things for New York City, but it seems as though the tempt of greed and money in unthinkable quantities has gotten the better of him.

The two men indicted are Soviet natives, but are American citizens. Their arrest we have F.B.I agent William Sweeney Jr. to thank for. Trump’s willingness to throw Giuliani under the bus so quickly by dismissing claims he may know these two men is stunning as well. Giuliani has been an important asset for Trump, but as we know, loyalty in this White House is a one-way affair. A favor in return can only be expected if it doesn’t compromise Trump in any minute or major way. But what we do have here now are two witnesses that cannot be “executive privileged” into oblivion.

We have a litmus that’ll lead to the eventual reveal of the facts du jour as they are. Unmovable facts beyond speculation. I look forward to watching this unfold. But what a sad way for Giuliani’s career to turn after four decades of public service. A Trump-syndicate stamp of approval is aging rather poorly, and rather quickly. It’s best to buddy up with other allies, or remain aboard the Titanic that’s starting to sink.

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Top Right Response
by Louise W - October 12

Considering you hold (or held) such an honorable view of Giuliani, wouldn't you be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt? Because I agree that his career seems to negate, or out-shines, the current news swirling around his name. It's easy to believe what you read. But if we both know Giuliani as a no-nonsense guy who can take on the worst kinds of criminals, why would he associate with one? Wouldn't he be willing to lay down the hammer on a president who acted so immorally? Is there perhaps, some other force at work? Could Giuliani truly do such a grand flip of character, when he's always been a staunch and stubborn public servant?

I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. The people of interest here are the two men arrested. Trump nor Giuliani has been charged, and we should leave an assessment of guilt up to the professionals.

Top Right Analysis

Trial by media, yet again 

by Don M - October 12

The level of deflection here is in uncharted territory. How can’t people seem to wrap their minds around the fact that Ukraine, campaign finance, and government integrity CANNOT possibly be thoroughly investigated without implicating Biden?! Biden’s got a red flag waving high above his name. Something smells and the Left is blasting the AC. Giuliani this..Giuliani that..Giuliani associates, Ukraine, Trump, collusion. Stop the noise and zoom in on the blatant hypocrisy of this entire ordeal. Not sure how the arrest is even relevant to the bigger issues facing our nation, but I do know it’s perfect media fodder for people to point to. “Look, see! Trump is bad! Impeach Trump!”

But Trump had nothing to do with this. He has said he didn’t know these two guys. So what’s the red herring I’m missing here? Guilt isn’t determined by association and speculation, nor do we rule in court by assuming guilt. It’s quite the opposite: innocent until proven guilty. Can the media get a hint? Flame-throwing an anti-Trump headline every day isn’t a good look. Nor a fair one.

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Top Left Response
by Laura V - October 12

I understand your concern about the Biden’s entanglement with Ukraine. I’d like to share some facts with you to clarify your concerns. Hunter Biden took a board position for Ukraine’s largest private gas company Burisma in 2014. Reports hold that he was paid as much as $50,000 a month for his work. Indeed, this smells as a potential conflict of interest, where the VPs son is profiting from a country where his father is actively engaged in his government role. This concern was raised publicly at the time.

Beyond this, there’s no evidence of illicit activity. In the case of this current headline about Giuliani’s aides, there is evidence of campaign finance violations that were investigated by the F.B.I. There are tangible evidentiary assets that lead to the determination of their high profile arrest. This is simply a violation of the law. If they are, in fact, found guilty.

I agree trial by media is a dangerous thing for our country, and our people. It’s a cause for much of the confusion surrounding all things involving the White House these days. Without thorough knowledge and reference of the constitution and relevant statutes written in law, it’s impossible to comb through illegal activity versus undesirable/immoral activity, but legal activity.

Regarding the impeachment inquiry, this arrest does bolster the case for a vote on formalizing the process. As Giuliani is a close associate of Trump. I’m playing the long game here, and am curious to see how the law will be bent to realize the outcomes that both parties desire.

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