Giuliani Associates Indicted On Campaign Finance Laws Funded Morrisey-Focused PAC

Oct 10, 2019

Updated Thursday, October 10 at 9:00 p.m.

The indictment of Rudy Giuliani's associates has a connection to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Global Energy Producers, the company owned by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, made a donation to a Morrisey-focused political action committee in his failed U.S. Senate bid last year. NPR reports the two foreign-born Florida businessmen helped Giuliani dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine -- a scandal at the core of House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Campaign finance records show Global Energy Producers gave $15,000 on May 3, 2018 to 35th Inc. -- an independent expenditure that took aim at Morrisey’s opponents for U.S. Senate. 

Morrisey won the Republican nomination just days later -- but lost in the general election to incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin.

Through a spokesman, Morrisey declined to comment on the donation to the political action committee that spent money on his race. 

“35th Inc. PAC is an independent entity, and any questions should be directed to them,” Morrisey spokesman Brian O’Neel said in an email to West Virginia Public Broadcasting. 

According to federal campaign finance law, an independent expenditure -- such as 35th Inc. -- involves election spending "that is not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate's authorized committee, or their agents, or a political party committee or its agents."

An attorney representing the Morrisey-focused political action committee said they were unaware of the circumstances surrounding donation from Global Energy Producers.

"Your question is the first indication that 35th Inc. has received anything untoward regarding any contribution that it received," Sloane Carlough said in an email. "Based upon the news today, the PAC would like to disgorge the contribution in question, but does not have the funds available to do that."

A earlier version of a story from the Charleston Gazette-Mail pubished the same statement from Carlough.

Charles Gantt, treasurer of 35th Inc., did not respond to repeated requests for an interview. 

An indictment from the Southern District of New York says Parnas, Fruman and two others “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence” by filtering donations through Global Energy Producers. The indictment does not reference Morrisey or 35th Inc. 

The company also made a $325,000 donation to America First Action, which supports Donald Trump.