Pence denies Parnas allegations: ‘I don’t know the guy’
Vice President Pence on Thursday denied knowing Lev Parnas, describing as “completely false” the Rudy Giuliani associate’s allegations about his knowledge of a scheme at the center of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
“I don’t know the guy,” Pence told reporters in Tampa, Fla., when asked about Parnas.
Pence, who is on a swing through Florida for Trump campaign events, said Parnas’s allegation that he was aware of efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter was “completely false.”
Parnas, who was indicted on campaign finance charges last year, recently turned over documents to House investigators that shed light on a push by Giuliani and others to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Parnas sat for an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that aired Wednesday evening, leveling a series of allegations against Trump, Pence and others that the White House thus far has brushed off.
He claimed that Pence’s trip to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in May was canceled because Ukraine hadn’t announced an investigation into the Bidens. He also suggested Pence was “in the loop” on the push for the investigation, adding, “He couldn’t have not known.”
Parnas also claimed that Pence was tasked to go Poland to meet with Zelensky in early September to press Kyiv to investigate the Bidens.
Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short previously denied Parnas’s claims, but Thursday’s remarks were the vice president’s first on the subject.
He also weighed in on the Democrat-controlled House’s decision to impeach Trump, dismissing it as a partisan exercise.
“I heard it and saw it in the crowd today — everywhere I go people see this partisan impeachment for what it is, an effort to overturn the results of the last election,” Pence told reporters.
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