The Phoenix Flyer

Twitter video shows Ukraine scandal figure celebrating with Gov. DeSantis on election night

By: - October 14, 2019 5:46 pm

Rough transcript of Donald Trump’s phone call with the Ukraine president. Source: Microsoft News

Video emerged on Twitter Monday showing Lev Parnas, one of two Soviet-born businessmen arrested on campaign finance violation charges apparently connected to President Trump’s Ukranian scandal, standing close to Gov. Ron DeSantis on election night last November.

Joey Roulette, a Reuters reporter who formerly reported on the space industry from Florida, posted the video on his Twitter feed. Parnas is visible standing behind the right shoulder of Casey DeSantis, the governor’s wife.

Last week, DeSantis turned over to the federal government $50,000 in donations Parnas and Igor Fruman made to his campaign through their company, Global Energy Producers, following news of their arrests on charges they funneled illegal donations to a pro-Trump super PAC. They contributed to other Republicans as well, including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.

Federal prosecutors reportedly believe Parnas and Fruman helped direct money from a Russian donor into U.S. elections.

DeSantis is politically close to President Trump, who endorsed him during last year’s gubernatorial campaign.

DeSantis’ press office issued the following written statement via email: “Parna frequented Republican campaign events and the election night event was open to the public. Gov. DeSantis has not met one-on-one nor spoken with Parnas since taking office.”

Update: This story has been amended to add the statement issued by the governor’s office.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.