Parnas: Trump 'knew exactly what was going on' and didn't act without consent
According to this man, President Donald Trump knew exactly what was going on and acted only when he had consent, and if this is all true, then Democrats could be in trouble when it comes time for impeachment trials.
His name is Lev Parnas and he's an associate of Rudy Giuliani. Parnas was indicted on implications in the big story where Trump was claimed to put pressure on Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden for reasons of corruption.
When talking with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Parnas told them exactly what was going on from his perspective, as reported by NBC News:
"President Trump knew exactly what was going on."
"He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials," Parnas, who faces campaign finance charges, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Wednesday night.
"I mean, they have no reason to speak to me. Why would President Zelenskiy's inner circle or Minister Avakov or all these people or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that's the secret that they're trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work," Parnas said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected president in April, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Arsen Avakov is Ukraine's interior minister.
So what's the big deal with Parnas? Was he charged with anything? What's the deal with his implications?
As it turns out, another one of Giuliani's associates was tagged too. His name is Igor Fruman. Here's the big thing - both of them were charged with making illegal 6-figure donations to a PAC supporting Trump, but then another smaller donation too.
Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, have been charged with making $325,000 in illegal straw donations to a super PAC supporting President Donald Trump, as well as with giving $15,000 to a second committee, amid a flurry of political donations to help them advance the interests of a Ukrainian government official and a Russian national seeking to break into the cannabis industry.
Now Democrats have shared some records from Parnas' lawyers and these apparently show Giuliani wanted to meet with President Zelensky in private - and he had Trump's OK to do so.
The potential thought here, by Democrats, is they will try to say this was Rudy G. doing Trump's work in the attempt to unearth corruption by the Bidens.
Here's where it gets really juicy.
So basically, Parnas is a snitch. He faces his own legal troubles, so now he might actually be desperate to stay out of jail, or reduce his sentence, and he could be trying to say whatever helps him.
Is Parnas being truthful? That remains unclear, but now it gets really interesting.
People from the White House are speaking out AGAINST Parnas.
Grisham speaks out:
In response to Parnas' interview, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Thursday morning, "These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison."
"The facts haven’t changed — the president did nothing wrong and this impeachment, which was manufactured and carried out by the Democrats has been a sham from the start," Grisham said.
Giuliani speaks out:
In a statement to "The Rachel Maddow Show" while the program was airing, Giuliani denied that he told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of Trump.
"Never," Giuliani responded when asked whether Parnas was speaking for Trump.
Asked whether he believed Parnas was lying, Giuliani said, "All I can say is the truth." Giuliani said of Parnas, "He's a very sad situation."
Parnas also tried throwing Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr under the table. Pence didn't respond for comments and the claim about Barr was disputed:
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department told "The Rachel Maddow Show" about Parnas' claims regarding Barr: "100 percent false."
Trump has denied knowing Parnas or Fruman. Photos that Parnas posted to Facebook in 2018 show him and Fruman with Trump and with the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. President Trump said that "it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody."
Asked about Trump's denial that he knows them, Parnas said, "He lied."
Let's throw some snitching on Devin Nunes into the mix while we're at it.
Parnas said he was later referred to a Nunes aide, who was aware of what Parnas and Giuliani were doing. Parnas said the referral came because of something to do with an ethics committee, and Nunes "couldn't be in the spotlight.” Parnas said he was shocked to see Nunes and the aide during the impeachment hearings because "they were involved in getting all this stuff.”
Parnas is claiming he wants to get the truth out, but he's also facing legal troubles which motivates him to do or say whatever he can to get a reduced jail or no jail.
Whether it's true or not remains to be seen and would need to be proven.
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