Schiff misidentified Zelensky in some Parnas materials: report

Schiff misidentified Zelensky in some Parnas materials: report
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Unredacted materials indicate House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCoronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Schiff: Remote voting would not compromise national security MORE (D-Calif.) may have mischaracterized a text message from Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiHillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike 12 things to know today about coronavirus Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria treatment for coronavirus MORE associate Lev Parnas referencing “Mr. Z” as referencing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Politico.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (D-N.Y.), Schiff said Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing the text in question, where Parnas tells Giuliani he is “trying to get us mr Z.”

However, the unredacted communications show Parnas referring to Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, as “mr Z” in a Word document outlining his notes after meeting with Zlochevsky.


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 seized on the revelation of the unredacted material, calling it a “big story” on Twitter, and it is likely to provide further ammunition among Republicans who have accused Schiff of rushing to judgment on impeachment.

“Given the selective redactions and contextual clues, it seems as though Chairman Schiff sought to portray an innocuous meeting with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky as an insidious one with the President of Ukraine simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z,” a senior Republican aide told the publication.


A Democratic official working on the impeachment trial told Politico that figures involved in the campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response MORE and his son Hunter, the issue at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, frequently used “z” in reference to Zelensky. The official did not dispute that Schiff misidentified the subject of the Parnas message.

“Beginning with Mr. Giuliani’s May 10 letter to President Zelensky two months earlier and leading up to Mr. Giuliani’s August 2 meeting with Mr. Zelensky’s representatives in Spain, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Parnas actively sought high-level engagement with President Zelensky and his administration to carry out the President’s corrupt scheme,” the official said. “If Mr. Giuliani sought out dirt from other sources, that would be consistent with their overall effort.”

Giuliani’s attempts to arrange a Zelensky meeting have been documented elsewhere, but it remains unclear what role Parnas, who was indicted last year in connection with an alleged campaign finance fraud scheme, played in those efforts.

The Hill has reached out to Schiff’s office for comment.