House Democrats released new evidence that will hopefully help remove Trump from the Presidency, providing text messages and hand-written notes from Lev Parnas, an indicted Rudy Giuliani associate.
The communications add a layer of details about Trump’s urging Ukraine to investigate Trump’s rivals, the Bidens, showing that Parnas was trying to set up a meeting between Giuliani and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. There is also more evidence to corroborate Giuliani’s push to remove the then-US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
The House Intelligence Committee diligently went through all the documents Parnas had provided, with contents of an iphone being hand delivered by Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy, and it is likely that House Dems will cite all that material in the case.
Some of the documents were recently made public, including a letter from to Zelensky, asking to meet with him “with the President’s knowledge and consent.” There is also evidence that show Parnas communicated with members of Zelensky’s aides, again pushing a meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky, and also gave negative info about the Bidens.
The text messages show that former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko pushed for the ouster of Yovanovitch. The texts show that he suggested that Yovanovitch should be removed if Giuliani expected info about “B.” The “B” here could mean Burisma or Bidens. He said, “If you don’t make a decision about Madam — you are bringing into question all my allegations. Including about B.”
There was also a hand-written note on paper from Ritz-Carlton in Vienna, Austria, that Bondy says was written by his client. The note reads, “get Zalensky (sic) to Annonce (sic) that the Biden case will Be Investigated.”
When asked about the documents, Florida Democrat Rep. Val Demings said, “I think it’s something we can’t ignore… To what extent we can get through it before the Senate trial remains to be seen.”
Bondy tweeted: “HPSCI has just transmitted evidence from Lev Parnas to the Judiciary Committee, which it deemed relevant to @POTUS’ impeachment inquiry. Mr. Parnas remains committed to testifying as to all the actions he took in Ukraine on behalf of @realDonaldTrump.”
Parnas included a screenshot of a hand-written note from Giuliani in which Giuliani asked for a meeting with Zelnsky in a text to Serhiy Shefir, Zelensky’s aide, saying,
“Along with many others, I am very hopeful that your election is a real turning point and allows the Ukraine to prosper and overcome some of the long-standing problems of the past.”
The note continued,
“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th. I will need no more than a half-hour of your time and I will be accompanied by my colleague Victoria Toensing, a distinguished American attorney who is very familiar with this matter.”
The new documents also show Giuliani trying to secure a visa for former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, which had been denied. Giuliani told Parnas he would try to obtain a visa after it was denied, and he gave Parnas contact info for the President’s attorney Jay Sekulow.
Although nothing ever came to fruition with the visa, the texts provided do show that Parnas was a key figure in Giuliani’s Ukrainian ventures, although Parnas has been called a low-level translator by even Trump himself. The argument will be that the documents clearly show that Parnas was in direct communication with members of the incoming Zelensky administration.
Parnas also is now known to have been in contact with Ivan Bakanov, the chief of Ukraine’s Security Service- a crucial senior law enforcement and intelligence official in Ukraine.
The texts disclosed Tuesday also revealed a new player- Republican Connecticut congressional candidate Robert Hyde. Hyde is featured in many texts, ranting about someone identified by the House of Representative committee officials as Yovanovitch. In a March 22, 2019 text, Hyde wrote, “F— that bitch.” The next day, the conversation continued, with Hyde writing, “Wow. Can’t believe Trumo (sic) hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that.”
The texts continued, “Wake up Yankees man. She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off. She’s next to the embassy. Not in the embassy. Private security. Been there since Thursday.” Hyde stated to Parnas, “that address I sent you checks out” and “they are willing to help if we/you would like a price.” He continued, “Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money … what I was told.”
The text messages also show that Giuliani and Parnas had some idea that Trump had decided in April to remove Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine. The day before she was fired, Giuliani texted Parnas, “he fired her again.”
Hyde has declined to comment about the unfolding situation but when questioned by CNN he said,”Communist News Network? Sorry, I only talk to Fox, OAN and Blaze reporters like Eric Bolling.”
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat appeared on MSNBC and said, “This is going to be a partisan resolution by Mitch McConnell, and I’m sure it will be drafted with the White House lawyers to give the President every advantage… I will say this, though. It’s going to be hard for the Senate to ignore information that comes into the public record and say we’re not going to consider that, even though it’s directly relevant, even though it’s directly incriminating.”
In the time since the House passed two impeachment articles against the President, several developments have occurred, the Parnas document evidence is just some of the info that will have to be taken into consideration. The watchdog group American Oversight received documents from the State Department and will receive more info from the Energy Department on January 28.
Chief Justice John Roberts will have to rule on whether any new material would be admissible into the Senate trial.
GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, said, “We could” overturn Roberts’ rulings… Or if he doesn’t admit (records), we could overturn the chief justice.”