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Parnas says he's speaking out because of betrayal from associates: 'I felt like my family left me'
Lev Parnas revealed in a new interview Thursday that he agreed to speak out about President Trump's dealings with Ukraine because he felt betrayed by his former associates after being indicted.
Speaking with The Daily Beast, Parnas said he is levying new accusations and participating in interviews with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and CNN's Anderson Cooper in spite of backlash from Trump allies. He also said former associates did not defend him and were silent after he was arrested and indicted in October of last year on charges of violating campaign finance laws.
"I felt like my family left me," he said. "Knowing everything about me, knowing that this was probably a hit job, they all just clammed up."
Parnas, a former associate of Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, told the Daily Beast Giuliani was one of the associates whose silence hurt him most.
Parnas's comments to The Daily Beast come after he turned over a trove of documents and text messages to House investigators as evidence for impeachment, and made a slew of new allegations in his Wednesday MSNBC appearance.
The documents say Giuliani was acting with Trump's "knowledge and consent" to pursue a shadow foreign policy, with a letter signed by Giuliani asking for a meeting with Zelensky and with the approval of Trump.
Parnas also claimed in his interview that the president threatened to withhold all aid from Ukraine if it did not publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens, and also implicated other figures including Vice President Pence and Attorney General William Barr.
The interview sent shockwaves through Washington, D.C., with Democrats arguing it proves the need for impeachment, while Trump allies insist Parnas is an unreliable source.
Trump and Pence have both issued statements since the interview saying they do not know Parnas and dismissing his allegations.