Democratic candidate’s alleged connections to corrupt Ukrainian oligarch renews outrage after reported arrest
Democratic Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell's alleged connections to Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky are resurfacing after the tycoon's arrest last week, raising concern and scrutiny in GOP circles.
Mucarsel-Powell, a former U.S. representative, announced her bid for a Senate seat against incumbent Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., in August. During her last unsuccessful bid for Congress, her campaign was dogged by criticism about her husband's work for a company that worked with businesses tied to Kolomoisky, one of the wealthiest oligarchs in Ukraine who has been accused of fraud, bribery and hiring hitmen.
'Of course, it’s concerning,' Priscilla Ivasco, spokesperson for Scott's campaign, told Fox News Digital Friday of Mucarsel-Powell's alleged connection. 'And it’s one of the many reasons that the voters of South Florida voted her out of office. Floridians rejected DMP once, and they’ll do it again.'
Mucarsel-Powell has repeatedly dismissed criticism that her husband had ties to Kolomoisky.
'Republicans are recycling old and debunked lies that have nothing to do with Debbie Mucarsel-Powell or her family,' spokesperson Michelle Gajewski for Mucarsel-Powell's campaign said to Fox News Digital in a statement Friday. 'These lies won’t distract from Rick Scott's record of profiting from investments linked to Vladimir Putin and Venezuela, overseeing the largest Medicare fraud in history, and invoking the 5th Amendment 75 times to avoid self-incrimination. As recent polling shows Rick Scott falling behind, he will tell any lie to hold onto this seat.'
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou told Fox News Digital in a statement that 'Floridians deserve better than crooked politicians like socialist Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, whose family fortune was bankrolled by a corrupt warlord who allegedly engaged in bribery, embezzlement and contract killings.'
'Will Mucarsel-Powell return the favor and help post Kolomoisky’s $14 million bail?' Letsou asked.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did not respond to Fox News' Digital request for comment by press deadline.
In 2018, an investigative report by The Daily Beast discovered Mucarsel-Powell's husband, attorney Robert Powell, was hired by several businesses connected to Kolomoisky. Among these firms, one alone has publicly reported payments to Powell for at least $700,000 over a span of two years.
At the time, when Mucarsel-Powell was running for a House seat, a campaign spokesperson responded to the allegations in The Daily Beast, saying, 'The absurdity of Debbie being attacked over an indirect shareholder to her husband’s former employer, a job he no longer even holds, is exactly why people are tired of politics.'
State media reported last week that Kolomoisky faces arrest in a fraud probe after a Kyiv court decreed two months of pre-trial detention. Meanwhile, authorities will investigate the fraud allegations, according to Ukrainian outlet Ukrinform's report.
Kolomoisky told Ukrinform he 'superficially' looked over the charges and 'absolutely' disagrees with them.
The U.S. State Department previously sanctioned Kolonoisky for alleged 'corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes, including using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit.
'The Department will continue to use authorities like this to promote accountability for corrupt actors in this region and globally.'
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