Schumer: Lev Parnas evidence ‘dramatically underscores’ need for impeachment witnesses, documents
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) seized Wednesday on newly released evidence from Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, arguing it “dramatically underscores” the need for witnesses and documents in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
“I don’t know how any member of this body could pick up the newspaper this morning, read this new revelation and not conclude that the Senate needs access to relevant documents like these in the trial,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
The day before, Democratic chairmen from the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees sent evidence to the House Judiciary Committee that was provided by Parnas. The Judiciary panel is expected to incorporate it into the official record it will send to the Senate before it starts its proceedings next week.
The information details Parnas’s role in trying to convince the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running to replace Trump in the 2020 election.
“Each day that goes by, the case for witnesses and documents gains force and gains momentum. Last night, a new cache of documents, including dozens of pages and notes, text messages and other records shed light on the activities of the president’s associates in Ukraine,” Schumer said.
He added that the documents “paint a sordid picture” of Giuliani and his associates’ efforts to remove former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and get the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into the Bidens.
Included among the released documents are communications between Robert Hyde, who is running to challenge Rep. Jahana Hayes (D) in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District, and Giuliani regarding Yovanovitch.
Hyde suggests in the communications that Yovanovitch’s movements were being monitored, texting Parnas, “They will let me know when she’s on the move.”
The Republican House candidate dismissed the documents released by Democrats on Tuesday, but Yovanovitch has called for an investigation into “what happened.”
Schumer lashed out at Hyde and Giuliani on Wednesday, asking “how low can they go?”
“Just when you think that President Trump and his network couldn’t get possibly any more into the muck, reports suggest they are even dirtier than you would have imagined,” he said.
“To allegedly have some cut-rate political operative stalk an American ambassador at the direction of the president’s lawyer, potentially with the president’s ‘knowledge and consent’ … I mean, how much more can America take in the decline of our morals, our values, our standing in the world?” Schumer added.