As Ukraine's scandal in the heart of President Donald Trump's impeachment unfolds, one of the most startling figures to emerge was Lev Parnas. Rudy Giuliani's Soviet-born captain, who was indicted alongside business partner Igor Fruman for campaign funding violations in October, turned against Trump and announced that he would cooperate with House investigators in November, apparently because the president pretended not to know him. And on Wednesday, Parnas finally had the opportunity to talk about what he knows. One day after House investigators released their first (incredibly incriminating) batch of documents that Parnas delivered in relation to Ukraine, Trump's former ally made his cable news debut on Wednesday to share his side of the story. Ukraine – and implicate Trump in the process.
Parnas spoke with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC on Wednesday, where she insisted that her actions regarding the Ukraine scandal were carried out with the blessings of Trump and Giuliani. “President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements, ”Parnas said when asked about the biggest inaccuracy being reported regarding Ukraine. "I would do nothing without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president." Parnas said he would speak to Ukrainian officials as Trump's spokesman, placing officials on the phone with Giuliani, who would confirm that Parnas was appearing in official capacity and speaking on behalf of the president of the United States. "I have no intention, I have no reason to talk to these employees and they have no reason to talk to me," Parnas said. Parnas said these senior Ukrainian authorities "were instructed to meet with me, and that is the secret (the Trump government was) trying to keep. I was in their work." (Giuliani told MSNBC that "never" had attested Parnas to the Ukrainian authorities and referred to Parnas as a "sad situation").
Giuliani's friend also dismantled another important Republican discussion point in defense of Trump in Ukraine, in which Trump allies say the president wanted Ukraine to launch investigations to investigate "corruption" in Ukraine rather than its own political rivals. Parnas told Maddow that, as the Democrats argued, the president's main intention was to harm rival Joe Biden, whose son Hunter served on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. "It was never about corruption, it was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden," Parnas told Maddow. Parnas also confirmed the existence of a quid pro quo, telling Maddow that he had been instructed to tell Ukrainians "in a very severe way" that "the relationship (between the US and Ukraine) would go sour … they would stop giving unless Biden's investigation has been announced. Although efforts were first focused on the US that refuse to show support for the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the final decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine, Parnas was from Trump. "The help itself was something I think the president decided to do," Parnas said, saying it was a "reaction" to the Ukrainians' continued refusal to announce an investigation.
And Trump was not the only one involved by Parnas. Parnas said that Vice President Mike Pence, canceling a planned trip to Zelensky's inauguration, was a direct result of Ukraine not having announced Biden's investigation, and that the Vice President was fully aware of what was happening. When Maddow asked if Pence was aware of the quid pro quo agreement, Parnas replied, "I'm going to use a famous quote from Ambassador Gordon Sondland: & # 39; Everyone was in the circle & # 39 ;. Parnas said about Pence. Parnas also defended why former adviser John Bolton should testify, saying that Bolton "has a lot to say". "I know that Mr. Bolton was definitely involved in the cycle," said Parnas, citing how Bolton "regrets". heads ”with Giuliani. "He knows what happened there."
. (tagsToTranslate) ukraine (t) impeachment (t) Rachel Maddow (t) Rudy Giuliani (t) donald trump (t) william barr (t) mike pence