Senate

Attorney tells McConnell that Parnas has records ‘directly relevant’ to impeachment

Lev Parnas’s attorney penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Friday detailing what his testimony would add to the impeachment trial of President Trump, even as the Senate appears prepared to vote down bringing in new witnesses.

In the letter, Joseph Bondy tells McConnell that Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, would be able to tell the Senate information that is “directly relevant to the President’s impeachment inquiry,” specifically regarding Parnas’s relationship with Trump and Giuliani as well as his “actions in Ukraine on behalf of the President, as directed by Mr. Giuliani.”

The three-page correspondence goes into detail about Parnas’s actions in Ukraine as well as those who were privy to what he was doing.

The contents are similar to what Parnas said in his sit-down interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow two weeks ago. Both the letter and interview indicate that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry and several other officials within the Trump administration were aware of the pressure campaign in Ukraine that is at the center of Trump’s impeachment.

The White House and Giuliani have both tried to distance themselves from Parnas, with Trump repeatedly saying that he doesn’t personally know Parnas and has only ever interacted with him at fundraising events. However, the letter doubles down on Parnas’s claim that he was taking direct orders from Giuliani, who was working on behalf of his client, the president.

Trump’s defenders are dubious of Parnas’s credibility, as he and Igor Fruman, another associate of Giuliani’s, were arrested late last year on campaign finance charges.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) invited Parnas to attend the impeachment trial earlier in the week, but because of his electronic ankle-monitor, Parnas was not allowed inside the Senate chamber.

Bondy tweeted the letter Friday afternoon amid what could be the final day of Trump’s trial.

Both the Democratic House managers and Trump’s defense team have finished their opening arguments, and the two-day questioning period for senators ended Thursday. A vote on whether to admit more evidence and witnesses in the trial is expected later Friday, but it’s believed that Democrats don’t have the four GOP votes needed for the motion to pass.

Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Igor Fruman Lev Parnas Mike Pompeo Mitch McConnell Rachel Maddow Rick Perry Rudy Giuliani senate impeachment trial

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