House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will donate money raised in connection with indicted associates of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a spokesman said Thursday.
“These contributions were made ahead of events sponsored by Protect the House, a joint fundraising committee that McCarthy helped form last cycle,” a spokesman for McCarthy told CNN. “The deception documented in today’s indictment has no place in our country and as a result, McCarthy plans to donate amounts received to a local charity.”
McCarthy’s move comes after two associates of Giuliani connected to efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden were arrested trying to leave the country and indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into US elections.
The two Giuliani-linked defendants, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were detained at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Wednesday evening. They were booked on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, to connect to another flight, according to a law enforcement source.
According to Federal Election Commission data, Parnas donated $2,700 to Kevin McCarthy for Congress, and $11,000 to Protect the House.
The donations were not the only connection between the House minority leader and the two men. McCarthy had also previously attended an event with them, the Miami Herald reported last week.
Fruman and Parnas brought Giuliani to a gala dinner of the National Council of Young Israel, a Jewish communal group, last March where McCarthy was the keynote speaker, according to the paper.
Federal prosecutors were not intending to unseal the indictment against the Giuliani associates and two others Thursday, according to three US officials, but had to change course when they learned of the defendants’ impending departure. The two were detained as they were about to board the flight with one-way tickets, Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters Thursday.
CNN’s Erica Orden, Evan Perez, Michael Warren and David Shortell contributed to this report.