President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani was paid $500,000 last year by a company founded by one of his business associates who was arrested last week and charged with campaign finance violations.
“I know exactly where the money came from. I knew it at the time,” he said. “I will prove beyond any doubt it came from the United States of America.”
Giuliani had previously said he worked for Fraud Guarantee in 2018 and 2019 but had not confirmed how much he was paid. The figure was first reported by Reuters.
The payment means Giuliani’s firm was earning $500,000 from Parnas just as Giuliani began working closely with Parnas and a business partner, Igor Fruman, to dig up dirt on Democrats in Ukraine. The information the three men collected prompted Trump to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, which has led to the Trump impeachment inquiry by the House.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested last week and charged with illegally routing foreign money to U.S. political candidates and committees and using corporate accounts to hide the source of the funds. They have not yet entered a plea in the case.
Parnas has said he began working with Giuliani in Ukraine late last year, introducing him to current and former Ukrainian officials who said they had information about alleged interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election and an energy company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter Biden used to sit.
Parnas and Fruman, both emigres from former Soviet republics, had little history of involvement in Republican politics but shot into the upper echelon of Trump supporters after Parnas made a $50,000 donation to Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party in 2016 and a pro-Trump super PAC reported receiving a $325,000 donation from a different company incorporated by the two men in May 2018.
Giuliani said he was introduced to the two men by a lawyer. He said he was interested in Parnas’s company, which he said conducted background analysis on firms, because he had worked previously for a different company that invented technology that Parnas was going to use at Fraud Guarantee.
“They were building this business with two technologies, one of which I was very familiar with. I knew the investor of it,” Giuliani said. He declined to name the other company.
He said his firm was paid in two installments last fall, and he downplayed the $500,000 contract. “Some of our contracts are 2 or 3 million dollars. This was not an extraordinarily large contract,” he said.