Trump had knowledge of Ukraine pressure, says Lev Parnas
'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.
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.