18:00 GMT25 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump said he does not know businessman Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman who reportedly helped his lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement in Ukraine.

    "I don’t know those gentlemen", Trump told reporters on Thursday. "I don't know them. I don't know about them, I don't know what they do. Maybe, they were clients of Rudy. You'd have to ask Rudy. I just don't know".

    Earlier, US authorities announced that four businessmen were indicted over campaign finance charges including Parnas and Fruman who were both arrested at an airport outside Washington, DC on Wednesday.

    Parnas and Fruman made their initial appearance at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Thursday. Later on Thursday, the two men were released on a $1 million bond each.

    The next hearing in the Parnas and Fruman case is scheduled for October 17 at 3:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT) at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

    Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives have sought to depose both Parnas and Fruman as part of their ongoing impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.

    According to the indictment, Parnas and Fruman and two other individuals - in one of several schemes - are accused of conspiring to make political donations to US candidates funded by a foreign national, who the indictment identified as "a Russian citizen and businessman who, at all relevant times, was not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States".

    In another plot, the four men donated money to a member of Congress and then tried to press that lawmaker to "remove or recall the then-US Ambassador to Ukraine." That effort, the indictment alleged, was carried out "at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials".


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    impeachment, Joe Biden, Ukraine, Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas
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