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CBC News 16 Jan 2020

Trump had knowledge of Ukraine pressure, says Lev Parnas

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'President Trump knew exactly what was going on,' said Lev Parnas, a close associate of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who provided photos and text messages to the U.S. House committee leading the impeachment inquiry.


The New York Times is reporting that former national security adviser John Bolton's book manuscript says President Trump directed him to help with the Ukraine pressure campaign in early May, two months before Trump infamous call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman shares more.
Lev Parnas, former associate of Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, talks about a letter outlining what he would be willing to testify to in Congress about Trump's Ukraine scheme, including the involvement of top Trump officials and Senator Lindsey Graham. Aired on 01/31/20.
Lev Parnas, former associate of Rudy Giuliani, and his attorney Joseph Bondy, talk about how the reporting on revelations in John Bolton's unreleased manuscript align with what Parnas has already said about Donald Trump's Ukraine scheme and the involvement of senior Trump officials. Aired on 01/31/20.
Per New York Times reporting, John Bolton alleges in his new book that Trump instructed a Ukraine pressure campaign early last May. Aired on 01/31/20.

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Well as president Donald Trump's impeachment trial heads to the Senate
there are damning new revelations about the influence campaign in Ukraine. They
come from Lev Parnas, who is the focus of a trove of documents released this
week from the house impeachment investigation. The CBC's senior Washington
editor Lindsay Duncombe has more on all of this from our Washington bureau. Lindsay,
Parnas speaking out now and pretty interesting stuff walk us through what
he's saying. Well, these allegations are coming as you mentioned in documents and
then also in cable television interviews and essentially what Parnas is saying is
that Donald Trump was in the know, when it came to Parnas's efforts to get
the Ukrainian government, the president of Ukraine to announce investigations
into the Democrats, into Joe Biden and and his son, and his son's work in
Ukraine. What Parnas has said is that this wasn't about large-scale corruption
instead this really was about the Bidens. Here's what he said about Donald
Trump. 'President Trump knew exactly what was going on he was aware of all my
movements. He --- I wouldn't do anything without their consent the Rudy Giuliani
or the President. I have no intent no reason to speak to any of these
officials.' Parnas is also throwing those in Trump's inner circle under the bus when
it comes to this. He says John Bolton was right in it as was Attorney General
William Barr something that the Justice Department has pushed back on and said
it isn't true. We've seen similar push back from Vice President Mike Pence.
And there is no question that Lev Parnas has a credibility problem, he is speaking
while he's under indictment for campaign finance violations but the big picture
of what these allegations and what these documents do is add fuel to the
Democrats fire as we get into this Senate impeachment trial, when they say
that it is a time to bring forward to those witnesses, those that might have
direct knowledge. It's also exposed to Democrats to criticism of why they chose
not to fight out for some of that testimony in court but rather move to
head to a Senate impeachment trial. Okay there's new development in this
story this comes out of the revelations about the pressure campaign that Parnas
helped orchestrate in Ukraine. What more can you tell us about that Lindsay? Okay
this goes back to Marie Yovanovitch remember she testified in front of the
house, she's a former ambassador to Ukraine and in these text messages from
Parnas there was an exchange with a Republican someone who's running for
office and those exchanges insinuated that Marie Yovanovitch while she was
ambassador before she was oast 'add was under surveillance and they could be
interpreted as a threat. So what's happened today is the government of
Ukraine not the Americans but the government of Ukraine has said that it
will investigate based on those text messages released from Parnas. I'll let
you go through the statement of what Ukraine said it says our goal is to
investigate whether there were any violations of Ukrainian and
international laws. Then there must be an appropriate response. Or maybe it was
just bravado and fake conversation between two US citizens. In accordance
with international legal mechanisms the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
suggested that the US should take part in such an investigation. Ukraine expects
the United States of America to respond to the appeal and looks forward to their
cooperation. Now, that line maybe it was just bravado and fake conversation
between two US citizens. While Lev Parnas who was on that text thread has been
questioned by these various journalists he has said he did not take idea of a
threat against the Ambassador seriously. He accused the person he was text
messaging back and forth with of being a drunk. But the thing to note here is that
what we have is the Ukrainians calling for an investigation into the situation
and not the Americans and there has been much criticism of how the State
Department particularly Mike Pompeo behaved in relation to this diplomat, as
as she was being under fire and facing that kind of criticism that potentially
kind of threat in Ukraine. Never a dull moment. Thanks for this Lindsay. CBC's
Lindsay Duncombe in our Washington bureau.

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