- The House Intelligence Committee released a slew of explosive documents on Tuesday that were related to Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’ role in President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign in Ukraine.
- One document, a handwritten note from Parnas, reads, “get [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.”
- Parnas’ text messages with associates also indicate a shocking level of surveillance on former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
- And a previously unseen letter from Giuliani to Zelensky throws a wrench into all of Trump’s defenses in the impeachment inquiry.
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The House Intelligence Committee released a slew of explosive documents, related to Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’ role in President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine.
The documents included letters, handwritten notes, and text messages written by Parnas detailing his duties in Ukraine.
Specifically, one hand-written note says, get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.”
—Nicholas Wu (@nicholaswu12) January 14, 2020
Parnas’ text messages revealed constant surveillance of former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch
The former ambassador testified during Trump’s impeachment trial that she was abruptly recalled from her position in May, following a smear campaign.
—Sonam Sheth (@sonam_sheth) January 14, 2020
A text exchange between Parnas and former prosecutor general of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko revealed the nature of the surveillance on Yovanovitch.
Lutsenko has been accused of engaging in corrupt practices and was sharply criticized by Yovanovitch, who is a world renowned anticorruption activist, for his activities.
In one exchange with Parnas, he wrote, referring to Yovanovitch: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool.”
Parnas replied: “She’s not a simple fool, trust me. But she’s not getting away.”
In another March 2019 text exchange, Parnas communicated with his associate, Robert F. Hyde, about tweets and videos accusing Yovanovitch of being anti-Trump.
Hyde wrote: “Wow. Can’t believe Trumo [sic] hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that.”
Hyde later sent several texts suggesting he was surveilling Yovanovitch in Ukraine, adding, “They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.”
Afterward, Hyde wrote, “Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money.”
In another text message, Hyde told Parnas on March 27, 2019, “It’s confirmed we have a person inside.”
Giuliani reached out to Zelensky as Trump’s personal lawyer to discuss a private matter
One particularly damning document was a letter from Giuliani to Zelensky dated May 10, 2019. In it, the former New York mayor told Zelensky, then Ukraine’s president-elect, that he wanted to meet in person on May 13 and May 14.
“Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States,” Giuliani wrote. “This is quite common under American law because the duties and privileges of a President and a private citizen are not the same.”
One day before Giuliani wrote the letter, The New York Times reported that he wanted to meet with Ukrainian officials to discuss former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Specifically, he wanted the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden’s involvement as a board member of the Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma Holdings.
“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Giuliani told The Times when asked whether by going to Ukraine and pressing for the inquiry, he was inviting foreign interference in the 2020 election.
Trump and Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into delivering dirt on the Bidens and Burisma make up the center of Congress’ impeachment proceedings against Trump, which charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The president has said that his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was linked to an interest in rooting out corruption, which is in the US’s national interest.
But Giuliani’s newly revealed letter directly undercuts that as it specifies that he was acting in his capacity as Trump’s private attorney; in other words, he was representing the president’s personal political interests, and not the country’s interests.
—Sonam Sheth (@sonam_sheth) January 14, 2020