Politics & Government

Bost to donate contributions he received from indicted Giuliani associate

The campaign committee for U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, who was in a close election in 2018, was among the recipients of contributions from Igor Fruman, a Rudy Giuliani associate who was arrested by federal authorities for allegedly violating federal election law.

Bost received a little more than $2,400 from Fruman in 2018.

A Bost spokeswoman said Friday the congressman would donate the money to the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale.

“The funds were received through a joint fundraising committee supporting House Republicans in competitive districts. The congressman has never met or spoken to Igor Fruman,” said Alex Naughton, a spokeswoman for Bost.

Fruman, who runs an import/export business, was arrested along with Lev Parnas for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws. They are accused of funneling foreign money into U.S. elections to influence U.S. politics on behalf of a Ukrainian official, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Parnas and Fruman were arrested on a four-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records. The men had key roles in Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, the Associated Press reported.

Bost was in a close re-election battle last year when he defeated then St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly by 6 percentage points in one of the hotly contested districts in a year when Democrats retook the U.S. House.

Bost received contributions from “Igor Furman,” but that was a name Fruman used to avoid scrutiny, according to prosecutors, Vanity Fair reported.

Other Republicans who have received money from Parnas and Fruman have said they would give the money back or donate it.

House Republican Leader U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California said his campaign would donate money received from Parnas and Furman to charity, Roll Call reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would return $50,000 his campaign received, according to the Miami Herald.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.