- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

House Democrats subpoenaed two Florida businessmen, associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, on Thursday as part of their impeachment investigation.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two key players in Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate the Biden family, are being required to turn over documents to the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees by Oct. 16. They must also testify before the committees, although that date was not specified.

The chairs of those three committees — Reps. Adam B. Schiff, Elijah E. Cummings and Eliot L. Engel — warned that Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman cannot claim executive privilege to avoid cooperating with the investigation.

“Your clients are private citizens who are not employees of the Executive Branch. They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry,” they wrote. “They are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance, and obstruction.”

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were initially required to turn over documents by Oct. 7 and testify by Oct. 11.

Earlier this week, the White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informing her that the administration would not cooperate with any requests or demands from Democrats as part of the impeachment investigation until the House authorized it with a full vote.

Earlier on Thursday, both Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman — who were born in Ukraine but now live in Florida — were indicted on campaign finance charges, although apparently unrelated to the Ukraine incident.

The two men connected Mr. Giuliani to a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to push the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings abroad.

The allegations that Mr. Trump, along with Mr. Giuliani, used the office of the presidency and military aid as leverage to pressure the foreign ally is at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani have maintained that their interactions with the Ukrainians were not illegal.

The investigation into Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman originated from a complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center in July 2018.

“The public is now learning just how dangerous dark money can be in U.S. elections, including the potential for illegal foreign funds, which DOJ says were used here,” CLC President Trevor Potter, a former Republican FEC chairman, said in a statement.

“The fact that these two individuals were working with Giuliani and Ukrainian government officials to alter U.S. policy in that country will obviously be relevant to the impeachment investigation,” he added.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this article.

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