Two businessmen in a case involving associates of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges that they funneled money into U.S. elections in an effort to gain influence.
During the hearing for David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin in a Manhattan federal court on Thursday, prosecutors said they plan to produce “voluminous” evidence that includes information from 10 search warrants, email and other electronic communications and financial records from more than 50 bank accounts. The two were indicted with Giuliani henchmen Lev Parnas and Igor Furman in an alleged conspiracy to use straw donors to make illegal campaign contributions in a bid to curry favor for their business interests.
Fruman and Parnas, both central figures in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump, are also accused in a separate scheme of helping Giuliani dig up dirt on the president’s political opponents in Ukraine, including an attempt to have the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, recalled.
Parnas and Fruman had their hearings pushed back to Oct. 23. Fruman was released Wednesday night on bail, and Parnas was still in custody Wednesday because he has not yet satisfied his bail conditions, prosecutors said.
The case is the first criminal prosecution in connection with a pressure campaign to push Ukrainian officials to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter ahead of the 2020 election.