Parnas says he has turned over tape of Trump calling for diplomat's firing

Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiBill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn Former US ambassador Yovanovitch lands a book deal: report Kerry responds to Trump accusation he violated Logan Act: 'Another presidential lie' MORE who is at the center of Congress’ impeachment proceedings, said Friday he had given congressional Democrats a 2018 recording of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE discussing the dismissal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchFormer US ambassador Yovanovitch lands a book deal: report The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength MORE.

Parnas worked closely with Giuliani to further Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Trump and his associates are known to have viewed Yovanovitch, who was a career official at the State Department and an anti-corruption crusader, as an impediment to their efforts.

Parnas located the clip after it was first reported by ABC News Friday, his attorney, Joseph Bondy, told The New York Times.


Bondy said it “is of high materiality to the impeachment inquiry” of Trump, the case for which House Democrats are presenting in the Senate. He added that the tape had been provided to the House Intelligence Committee whose chairman, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Trump: Nevada a 'great win' for Sanders Trump's Intel moves spark Democratic fury MORE, is leading Democrats’ case for a conviction in the Senate.

The recording, according to ABC News, appears to capture Trump speaking about Yovanovitch to Parnas and Igor Fruman, another Giuliani associate. 

"Get rid of her!" a voice that appears to be Trump's reportedly says. "Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it."

The comment comes after Parnas and Fruman appear to speak negatively about Yovanovitch, whom Trump ultimately recalled as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in April 2019. 

The White House did not deny ABC’s reporting, but emphasized that Trump has the right to surround himself with supporters.


“Every President in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his Administration,” White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamSupreme Court allows 'public charge' rule to take effect nationwide Pelosi blasts Trump's 'dangerous' pick for intelligence chief Lawyers to seek asylum for Assange in France: report MORE said in an emailed statement. 

Former officials who testified in the House’s impeachment investigation told lawmakers that Yovanovitch was subject to a smear campaign from Giuliani and his associates that directly led to her firing. 

Democrats are in a pitched battle with Senate Republicans to try to get new witness testimony and other evidence admitted to the impeachment trial, with some suggesting the tape’s release bolsters their cause.