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Friday, January 24, 2020

Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate

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A detailed associate of U.S. President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer says he delivered an ultimatum in May to the incoming president of Ukraine that no senior U.S. officials would attend his inauguration and all American aid to the war-torn country would be withheld if an investigation into Joe Biden wasn’t introduced.

Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, made a number of probably explosive claims in a televised interview Wednesday night time with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The day after Parnas mentioned he delivered the message, the U.S. State Division introduced that Vice-President Mike Pence would no longer be attending the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy.

Parnas alleged that Trump ordered Pence to remain away on the behest of Giuliani to ship a transparent message to the incoming Ukrainian administration that they wanted to take severely the demand for an investigation into Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate seen as a possible risk to Trump’s 2020 reelection.

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Parnas mentioned each communication he had with Zelenskiy’s staff was on the path of Giuliani, whom he often overheard briefing Trump about their progress by cellphone.


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“President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” mentioned Parnas, a Soviet-born Florida businessman dealing with a raft of felony expenses associated to marketing campaign finance violations. “He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the President.”

If true, Parnas’ account undercuts a key Republican defence of Trump deployed through the ongoing impeachment battle — that Trump’s withholding of important army aid to Ukraine final summer season wasn’t a quid professional quo for Biden investigations as a result of Zelenskiy didn’t know the cash was being held up.

Giuliani known as Parnas’ statements “sad.”

“I feel sorry for him,” Giuliani mentioned Wednesday in a textual content message to an AP reporter. “I thought he was an honourable man. I was wrong.”


Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate







The function of an impeachment supervisor defined in a minute


The function of an impeachment supervisor defined in a minute

Requested straight if Parnas was mendacity, Trump’s lawyer replied, “I’m not responding yet.”

Parnas mentioned he additionally heard Giuliani and one other Trump-aligned defence lawyer, Victoria Toensing, briefing Lawyer Common William Barr by cellphone about their efforts to stress the Ukrainian authorities to announce the investigation into Biden and his son Hunter’s enterprise dealings.

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Justice Division spokeswoman Kerri Kupec mentioned Parnas’ claims have been “100 per cent false.”

The brand new accusations got here as Home Democrats made public a trove of paperwork, textual content messages and pictures from Parnas’ smartphones that seem to confirm components of his account.


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A Home committee chairman mentioned Wednesday his panel will examine what he says are “profoundly alarming” textual content messages among the many newly disclosed supplies which have raised questions in regards to the attainable surveillance of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch earlier than she was ousted by the Trump administration final spring.

The messages present {that a} Trump donor named Robert F. Hyde disparaged Yovanovitch in messages to Parnas and gave him updates on her location and cellphone use.

Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who chairs the Home International Affairs Committee, mentioned Wednesday that the messages are “profoundly alarming” and “suggest a possible risk” to Yovanovitch’s safety in Kyiv earlier than she was recalled from her publish.

“These threats occurred at the same time that the two men were also discussing President Trump’s efforts, through Rudy Giuliani, to smear the ambassador’s reputation,” Engel mentioned.


Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate








Man with ties to Rudy Giuliani in relation to Ukraine to conform in impeachment inquiry


Man with ties to Rudy Giuliani in relation to Ukraine to conform in impeachment inquiry

He mentioned the committee employees flagged the knowledge for the State Division’s Bureau of Diplomatic Safety and is looking for assurances that correct steps have been taken to make sure the safety of Yovanovitch and committee employees. He mentioned he additionally needed to know what, if something, the State Division knew in regards to the state of affairs.

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“This unprecedented threat to our diplomats must be thoroughly investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Engel mentioned.



Democrats launched the recordsdata Tuesday and Wednesday as they ready to ship articles of impeachment to the Senate for Trump’s trial. The paperwork might add stress on the Senate because it debates whether or not to listen to witnesses within the trial.

They present Parnas speaking with Giuliani earlier than Yovanovitch’s removing, and that he seemed to be pushing unfounded claims that Democrat Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, have been one way or the other engaged in corruption in Ukraine. The paperwork embrace a handwritten observe that mentions asking Ukraine’s president to research “the Biden case.”


Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate







Lev Parnas says ‘I put my faith in God’ after pleading not-guilty to marketing campaign finance cost


Lev Parnas says ‘I put my faith in God’ after pleading not-guilty to marketing campaign finance cost

Among the many paperwork is a screenshot of a beforehand undisclosed letter from Giuliani to Zelenskiy dated Might 10, 2019, which was shortly after Zelenskiy was elected however earlier than he took workplace. Within the letter, Giuliani requests a gathering with Zelenskiy “as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”

The Related Press reported in October that Zelenskiy had huddled three days earlier, on Might 7, with a small group of key advisers in Kyiv to hunt recommendation about how you can navigate the insistence from Trump and Giuliani for a probe into the Bidens. He expressed his unease about changing into entangled within the American elections, based on three individuals conversant in the main points of the three-hour assembly. They spoke on the situation of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the problem, which has roiled U.S.-Ukrainian relations.

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One of many paperwork launched by Democrats is a handwritten observe on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Resort in Vienna that claims “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will be Investigated.” Trump requested Zelenskiy in a July 25 name to research the Bidens. Hunter Biden served on the board of a fuel firm primarily based in Ukraine.

Democrats mentioned Parnas’ lawyer confirmed that Parnas wrote the notes.


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The paperwork — together with cellphone data, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas — have been despatched to the Home Judiciary Committee by three different Home panels “to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the Articles of Impeachment,” based on an announcement. A number of the supplies have been made public whereas others have been marked as delicate.

Parnas and his enterprise associate, Igor Fruman, each U.S. residents who emigrated from the previous Soviet Union, have been indicted final 12 months on expenses of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of data. Prosecutors allege they made outsize marketing campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving hundreds of thousands of {dollars} originating from Russia. The lads have pleaded not responsible.

In a number of of the paperwork, Parnas communicated with Giuliani in regards to the removing of Yovanovitch. The ambassador’s ouster, ordered by Trump, was on the centre of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch testified within the Home impeachment hearings that she was the sufferer of a “smear campaign.”

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Trump on the July name told Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.” She had been recalled from her diplomatic publish roughly three months earlier.

On April 23, simply earlier than Yovanovitch was directed to return to america, Giuliani texted Parnas, “He fired her again.” Parnas texted again, “I pray it happens this time I’ll call you tomorrow my brother.”


Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate








Giuliani boasts about function in getting former Ukraine ambassador eliminated


Giuliani boasts about function in getting former Ukraine ambassador eliminated

Parnas additionally obtained messages from Hyde, who referred to Yovanovitch as a “bitch.” Hyde is now working for a U.S. Home seat in Connecticut.

After texting in regards to the ambassador, Hyde gave Parnas detailed updates that steered he was watching her. In a single textual content, Hyde wrote: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.” He mentioned she was beneath heavy safety and “we have a person inside.”

Hyde at one level texted Parnas that ”they’re keen to assist if we/you desire to a worth,” and “guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money … is what I was told.”

Parnas texted again: “lol.”

In an interview with The Related Press, one other committee chairman, Home Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, mentioned the texts are “deeply disturbing” and the proof they compiled “certainly suggests that people were surveilling the ambassador.”

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Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate







Trump says Giuliani hasn’t mentioned a lot about Ukraine journey, calls him ‘greatest crime fighter’


Trump says Giuliani hasn’t mentioned a lot about Ukraine journey, calls him ‘greatest crime fighter’

“What’s most disturbing about these texts is that they seem to suggest that there’s somebody inside the embassy who’s supplying information to Parnas and Hyde about the movement of the ambassador,” Schiff mentioned. “So it raises a whole host of troubling questions,” he mentioned, about how far the president and Giuliani have been keen to go.

Lawrence Robbins, an lawyer for Yovanovitch, known as for an investigation into the messages.

“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing. We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”

On Twitter, Hyde dismissed the claims as “laughable” and appeared to attempt to distance himself from Parnas. He mentioned he would “welcome” an investigation.


Ukraine’s president was told no U.S. aid without Biden investigation: Giuliani associate








Trump impeachment: New paperwork make clear White Home withholding Ukraine aid


Trump impeachment: New paperwork make clear White Home withholding Ukraine aid

The textual content messages present that Parnas consulted Giuliani in January 2019 after the U.S. denied a visa to former Ukrainian Prosecutor Common Viktor Shokin. Giuliani replied: “I can revive it.”

The next day, Giuliani told Parnas, “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Giuliani then predicted “he will get one,” earlier than giving Parnas the cellphone quantity for Jay Sekulow, the chief of the president’s private authorized staff. Sekulow is anticipated to be a part of Trump’s authorized staff through the impeachment trial.

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A federal choose earlier this month dominated that Parnas might present the supplies to Congress as a part of the impeachment proceedings.

Democrats voted in December to question Trump for abuse of energy and for obstruction of Congress.




© 2020 The Canadian Press





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