The Ukraine government has implicated three Rudy Giuliani associates in a plot to interfere in the 2020 US elections on behalf of Russia. The allegation is a shockwave of allegations regarding US President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, some of which have been investigated by US Congress. The Ukrainian government reportedly told US authorities that the three, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, and an unidentified third man, had developed the plot to help Russia meddle in the upcoming presidential election.
Reports suggest the men had planned to establish links between Ukraine and pro-Russian parties in the US, aiming to influence the election in favor of President Trump. The men were reportedly in discussion with associates of Viktor Medvedchuk, a political figure in Ukraine with close ties to Russia and to President Vladimir Putin. Medvedchuk’s team is believed to have laid the groundwork for meetings and other contacts between the three associates and US politicials.
The allegations against the three businessman, first leveled in September, center around a Ukrainian-American fundraiser, and his attempts to leverage connections in Ukraine to help re-elect Donald Trump. The men, all former Giuliani associates, had made multiple trips to Ukraine between 2018 and 2019. They are also believed to have met with Ukrainian politicians, and to have made efforts to pressure Ukraine into publicly announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a rival candidate in the 2020 election.
Even deeper implications have arisen from the accusations, as the US Department of Justice has opened a formal investigation into Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine. Reports suggest the investigation may focus on whether Giuliani’s work there was part of a wider effort to influence the US elections on behalf of the Trump campaign. Given the severity of such an allegation, the outcome of this investigation could greatly impact the 2020 election.
The front-running Democratic candidates have already weighed-in on the allegations, condemning the nefarious behavior of the three men. They also urge the President to take responsibility for actions of his associates, and for any potentially illicit dealings made on behalf of his campaign. Given the pace of the investigation, however, little may be known ahead of the Novemberelection — making the implications of the scandal all the more impactful.