Two Florida businessmen who are tied to President Donald Trump’s lawyer and now face federal criminal charges were photographed with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Photographs taken by a photographer on assignment for The Associated Press show Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman at DeSantis’ election party in Orlando last November.
One image shows Parnas and Fruman waiting to shake DeSantis’ hand. Another shows Parnas standing behind first lady Casey DeSantis as the governor-to-be talks to reporters.
After the men were charged with campaign finance violations, DeSantis directed an affiliated political action committee to return $50,000 the men donated through a company.
Parnas and Fruman played key roles in Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
In an email, DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre said Tuesday that the election party was open to the public. Ferre said the governor hasn’t spoken to or met one-on-one with either man since taking office.
She said DeSantis, before taking office, had spoken a few times with Parnas, who attended many Republican campaign events last year.