Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman and member of former President Donald Trump's galaxy, was sentenced in New York on Wednesday to 20 months in prison for illegal political financing with Russian money during the 2018 parliamentary elections.
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This case indirectly contributed to the triggering of the first impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, which ended in his acquittal by the Senate in February 2020.
Lev Parnas, born in Ukraine when the country was still part of the USSR, “defrauded American public opinion by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about where his funds came from. financial contribution to American politics, denounced the Manhattan federal prosecutor, Damian Williams, in a press release.
The naturalized American businessman, who was the partner of the former lawyer and very close to Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, was also ordered to return some 2.2 million dollars.
Justice recognized in October Lev Parnas and one of his accomplices, Andreï Kukushkin, were guilty of several violations of the laws of electoral financing.
According to prosecutor Williams, Lev Parnas teamed up in the spring of 2018 with four businessmen, including Kukushkin and a Russian oligarch, Andrei Muraviev, to invest in the trade of marijuana and cannabis (legal in many states Americans).
Part of the $1 million investment was actually used to fund congressional candidates for the November 2018 election, who were likely to help Parnas and his accomplices obtain “cannabis and cannabis distribution licenses.” marijuana”. Behind these donations, some to Republicans in Nevada, was the Russian Muraviev, in violation of the ban on foreign political funding.
The arrest of Parnas at Washington airport on October 10, 2019 had reinforced suspicions against the Trump camp and in particular against Rudy Giuliani, then in full turmoil because accused of having put pressure in 2019 on the new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to deliver compromising information on Hunter Biden, youngest son of Joe Biden, future Democratic candidate for the White House.
Donald Trump regularly denounced Hunter Biden's economic interests in Ukraine when his father was Barack Obama's vice-president.
This “Ukrainian affair” earned Donald Trump impeachment proceedings in 2019-20, after he was accused by the Democratic opposition of abusing his presidential duties by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.