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Giuliani associate Lev Parnas claims to have 'hard evidence' of wrongdoing for Trump impeachment inquiry

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 11/22/2019 By Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Lev Parnas, middle, a Ukrainian-American businessman who is both a client and associate of Rudy Giuliani, leaves with his wife, Svetlana Parnas, after his arraignment in the Southern District of New York court on Oct. 23, 2019. © TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS Lev Parnas, middle, a Ukrainian-American businessman who is both a client and associate of Rudy Giuliani, leaves with his wife, Svetlana Parnas, after his arraignment in the Southern District of New York court on Oct. 23, 2019.

NEW YORK — Lev Parnas says he has “hard evidence” of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump — and he wants America to hear it.

A lawyer for the associate of Rudy Giuliani is pushing the impeachment committee to call him to testify about what he knows about Trump’s plan to bully Ukraine.

“The evidence of #POTUS knowingly interacting with him is beyond cavil, and he has hard — hard — first-hand evidence. So, #LetLevSpeak,” said Joseph Bondy on Twitter early Friday morning.

Parnas, who was indicted along with partner Igor Fruman for his role in a campaign finance scheme to benefit Trump, was a key player in Giuliani’s effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and Democrats in Ukraine.

Once a diehard Trump supporter, Parnas has become disillusioned as Trump sought to distance himself from the pair.

Bondy issued a flurry of tweets about Parnas after Democrats wrapped up the weeklong string of impeachment bombshells.

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The tweetstorm, which came after Bondy’s twitter had been dormant for 11 months, followed an exclusive story in the Daily Beast that Parnas had been a key source for GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Nunes, the GOP ranking member on the impeachment committee, has regularly used conspiracy theories with roots in Ukraine to cast doubt on the impeachment probe.

Another story said that Parnas accompanied Giuliani on a meeting with Andriy Yermak, a key adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. That meeting is considered a major milestone in Trump’s effort to push Ukraine to open investigations even though official U.S. policy was to for Ukraine to avoid getting involved in U.S. domestic politics.

After a few hours sleep, the attorney was back on Twitter Friday morning.

“(Parnas has) got first-hand information that is important to our nation.”

Democrats have suggested that the public testimony phase of the impeachment probe may be over.

But some impeachment advocates have argued in favor of waiting to seek testimony from top Trump cronies like fired National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. They have all rebuffed congressional demands to testify under subpoena.

Parnas has volunteered to appear before the impeachment investigators. But he may hope to be granted immunity to avoid further incriminating himself in the campaign finance case.

He and Fruman are charged with illegally funneling $350,000 to a pro-Trump political committee and former GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. Giuliani is under federal investigation in the same scheme.

Parnas, a Ukrainian immigrant and businessman with a string of bad business deals, was a key player in Giuliani’s efforts to navigate the Byzantine and interconnected world of Ukrainian business and politics on Trump’s behalf.

He helped Giuliani establish relationships with several figures in Ukraine and Russia who helped flesh out Trump-friendly conspiracy theories involving the 2016 election and the role Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on the board of a Ukraine gas company called Burisma.

Parnas could be a rich vein of damaging information against both Giuliani and Trump. He says he had a private meeting with Trump at the White House during last year’s Hanukkah party at which the president gave him his marching orders.

But he is also a dubious character who could make a problematic witness. That might risk devaluing the extremely serious and reliable testimony that Democrats have relied on so far to make their case against Trump.

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©2019 New York Daily News

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