Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president

Lev Parnas claimed in a new interview Thursday that he was visited in jail by a former attorney for President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE who told him to cooperate and sacrifice himself for the president. 

John Dowd, who once served as an attorney for Trump, briefly served as Parnas's attorney after he was indicted in October for campaign finance violations.  

In part two of his interview with MSNBC's Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowMaddow hits Trump's 'happy talk' on virus: 'I would stop putting those briefings on live TV' New York City reports 923 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths Biden faces tricky test in unifying party MORE on Thursday, Parnas recounted firing Dowd. He said during a meeting where he expected to discuss making bail, Dowd instead allegedly told him “Be a good boy," though Parnas admitted that he doesn't remember what Dowd told him verbatim. 

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"I called Dowd to come there. And I started seeing in the process of the bail stuff, the way things were going on ... I didn't feel they were trying to get me out," Parnas said. "John Dowd instead of comforting me and trying to calm me down and telling me I'm going to be OK, he started talking to me like a drill sergeant."

After the interaction, Parnas said he fired Dowd and warned him to get out, or something "bad" would happen.

Pressed by Maddow if they were asking him "to sacrifice [himself] to protect Trump," Parnas replied, "Yes."

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He added: "They tried to keep me quiet."

The new allegation comes after Parnas turned over a trove of documents, records and messages as evidence for House investigators, which have since been handed to the Senate as the impeachment trial begins. 

In those records, an email from Trump's other lawyer, Jay SekulowJay Alan SekulowWhat the impeachment vote looked like from inside the chamber Senate votes to acquit Trump on articles of impeachment Roberts emerges unscathed from bitter impeachment trial MORE, reveals Trump and Sekulow spoke about Dowd representing Parnas and the other indicted associate Igor Fruman. 

“The president consents to allowing your representation of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Furman [sic],” Sekulow wrote in the Oct. 2 email. 

The documents indicate Trump's involvement, and the designation of Dowd as Parnas's lawyer before Parnas fired him. 

Trump and other top administration officials have continued to insist they do not know Parnas, and Republicans have pointed to his indictment as evidence his interviews are not to be trusted.
 
Democrats, however, have suggested Parnas could be called as a witness in the impeachment trial, with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJoe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (D-N.Y.) saying Thursday he had not ruled the option out.