Ted Cruz clarifies after Lev Parnas's lawyer calls senator's tweet 'fake news'

Ted Cruz clarifies after Lev Parnas's lawyer calls senator's tweet 'fake news'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday scaled back on an incorrect statement he made saying Lev Parnas was “ejected” from the Senate Gallery. 

“Scenes from the impeachment trial: Schumer invited Lev Parnas to be his personal guest today at the trial. Minutes ago, Parnas was ejected from the gallery...because he’s wearing an ankle bracelet mandated bc he’s a criminal defendant accused of serious felonies!” Cruz tweeted. 

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Parnas’s attorney, Joseph Bondy, responded to Cruz’s tweet calling him “Fake news Ted Cruz,” clarifying that Parnas did not get "ejected" from the trial, as he was not allowed in in the first place. His lawyers did attend, and Parnas later held a press conference and "unity walk."

“Why not depose him now, Ted?” Bondy added. “Just let us know.”

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Parnas also wasn't invited by Schumer to attend the trial, though as a New York constituent he did request seats for the gallery from Schumer's office.

“Like many other New York constituents, Mr. Bondy reached out and asked for gallery tickets, and we said yes,” a spokesman for Schumer said. 

Cruz went on to clarify hours later, once the Senate broke for dinner, admitting that information he was given in the Senate cloakroom was “slightly inaccurate.” He did not take down the original tweet.

“Instead of his being 'ejected' from the gallery, Parnas was told he wouldn’t be allowed into the gallery w/ his ankle bracelet, and so he didn’t actually try to go in,” Cruz explained. 

Parnas has become one of the central players in the impeachment trial against president Trump. Parnas, who has been indicted, has released information to the House Intelligence Committee and is on the list of people Democrats would like to call to testify before the Senate. 

CORRECTION: Parnas requested gallery tickets through Schumer's office but was not invited to attend the trial by Schumer. A previous version of this story included incorrect information.