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State officials dissolved company long before $500K deal with Giuliani
‘Fraud Guarantee’ linked to Ukrainian American accused of illegal campaign contribution to Trump PAC

Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm reportedly got a $500,000 consulting fee from a company that was reported as inactive years earlier by Florida officials. (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

State officials in Florida may have dissolved a company linked to a Ukrainian American businessman facing campaign finance charges long before Rudy Giuliani’s consulting firm reportedly was paid $500,000 to provide business and legal advice.

The company in question is called Fraud Guarantee. Its website lists as its co-founder and CEO Lev Parnas, who allegedly worked with Giuliani to urge Ukrainian officials to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Parnas was indicted last week on charges that included making an illegal campaign contribution through a shell corporation to a PAC that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Key takeaways from the latest House and Senate fundraising reports
Reports provide new clues in competitive races

Democrat Mark Kelly once again outraised Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally according to recent fundraising reports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to the battle for Congress, fundraising reports can provide clues about who’s in trouble and who’s mounting a strong campaign.

It’s still early in the 2020 cycle, but an analysis of reports for this year’s third quarter in House and Senate races that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates as competitive sheds new light on where donors in both parties are directing their money. The reports were due by midnight Tuesday.

Fundraising update: Some House freshmen raising more than embattled senators
Democrats continuing to tap large groups of small donors

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw raised more money during the third quarter than two of his party’s most embattled senators. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More than a year out from the 2020 elections, new disclosures show House members continue to set the pace for congressional fundraising, with several freshmen raising nearly as much as or more than some of the most vulnerable GOP senators and their Democratic challengers.

That’s especially true of House Democratic freshmen, some of whom are continuing a trend started last year when, as candidates, they raised more in the quarters leading up to Election Day than Senate candidates.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 11
Recalled Ukranian ambassador takes on accusations; Sondland will testify after all; Trump loses in court

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrives to testify behind closed doors at the Capitol on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled in May after butting heads with the White House, told members of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Friday that her removal was “based, as far as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

In her opening statement, obtained by the New York Times, Yovanovitch said she was told by her superior that she had done nothing wrong and that there had been “a concerted campaign against me” and that the State Department had been under pressure “from the President” to have her removed since the summer of 2018.

McCarthy will donate indictment-tainted money to charity
Minority leader was among recipients of contributions from indicted Giuliani associates last cycle

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was among the recipients of campaign donations from two indicted Giuliani allies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that he will donate to charity campaign contributions received from two indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani. 

McCarthy, along with the National Republican Congressional Committee and other groups, were the beneficiaries of campaign cash from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry. The pair have been working with Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on his investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who served on the board of an energy company in Ukraine.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions met with indicted Giuliani associates, accepted donations
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on campaign finance violations

Former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, met with and accepted campaign donations from two men indicted this week on campaign finance charges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who just last week announced a new bid for the House, appears to play a role in the indictment Thursday of two Soviet-born businessmen who are also subjects of the House impeachment inquiry.

While the indictment does not mention Sessions by name or charge him of any crime, he told a Texas radio show on Sunday that he met with them and Federal Election Commission documents show he accepted campaign donations from them last cycle. 

Appeals court will hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument, jeopardizing January trial date
California Republican is accused of spending more than $250,000 in campaign money on partying, vacations, personal expenses

The federal trial of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., could be pushed back even further after a federal appeals panel in California agreed to hear briefs on his case. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday to hear Rep. Duncan Hunter’s argument to dismiss the corruption case against him, potentially stalling the start of his trial slated for January 2020.

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit will hear briefs in December from Hunter’s defense team and the federal prosecutors in San Diego and will decide whether prosecutors violated the California Republican’s rights under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate clause, multiple outlets in Southern California reported.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas spent $148,000 fighting dropped civil lawsuit
California Democrat still has over $20,000 left that will likely go to outstanding balances

California Rep. Tony Cárdenas has spent well over $100,000 on legal expenses for a lawsuit that was dismissed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Politicians can pay a heavy price when they’re accused of sexual misconduct — even when the case is dismissed. Just ask California Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas.

He racked up almost $150,000 in legal expenses defending himself against a lawsuit that alleged he sexually assaulted a minor. In July, the alleged victim agreed to have the case dismissed with prejudice, meaning that she can’t file it again. But that doesn’t wipe out those expenses, even when the case is dropped.

That ’70s Show: Biden edition
Political Theater, Episode 93

Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia on May 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Say this for the Democratic presidential field: Voters certainly have choices. From former vice presidents to tech entrepreneurs, from senators to mayors, from wizened veterans to young upstarts.

Out of this crowded roster, Joe Biden is arguably the most recognizable. The affable No. 2 to President Barack Obama and longtime former senator is among the most known political quantities.

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