On January 14th, US House Democrats released a cache of documents obtained from Lev Parnas, a close associate of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
The materials released by House investigators exposed a number of previously unknown details about efforts by Giuliani and his associates to obtain material in Ukraine that would undermine Trump’s Democratic opponents.
Also among the documents is a handwritten note on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that says “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will be Investigated.“
In a letter outlining the evidence, Democrats said that Parnas’s attorney confirmed that Parnas wrote the notes.
The documents – including phone records, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas – were sent to the House judiciary committee by three other House committees “to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the articles of impeachment,” according to a statement.
They present how in early May 2019, Lev Parnas reached out to Ivan Bakanov, who is a close aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Bakanov is a childhood friend of Zelensky and was assigned as chief of the SBU, the Ukrainian secret service agency, by the president.
Serhiy Shefir, the first aide of President Volodymyr Zelensky was also in contact with Rudy Giuliani.
Initially, Parnas connected with Shefir to organize a meeting between him and Giuliani, finally Parnas himself met with Shefir, because Giuliani cancelled his trip to Kiev.
Lev Parnas was in contact with the Ukrainian Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov, with the first message being sent on April 15th, 2019. Avakov remained in seat, after Petro Poroshenko lost in the elections and has remained under Volodymyr Zelensky’s presidency.
They initially organized a meeting and it is unclear if it took place, but the two met around the end of April 2019.
Parnas, furthermore, was in contact with Ukraine’s chief negotiator with the US Andriy Yermak, during the week Volodymyr Zelensky travelled to New York for the UNGA.
Additionally, Parnas frequently communicated with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who gave him information regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Lutsenko frequently spoke of US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom he wanted to be removed from her post in Kiev.
Then, Parnas attempted to pressure Lutsenko into acting, as Giuliani was saying that it was time to look into the allegations that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 US Presidential elections.
Finally, it appears that Parnas also communicated with Igor Kolomoisky in September and October 2019. There are justified suspicions that Kolomoisky, an oligarch is the one sitting behind Volodymyr Zelensky, at least in part, pulling his strings.
“All of this new evidence confirms what we already know: the President and his associates pressured Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit the President politically,” the chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees said in a joint statement. “There cannot be a full and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump is refusing to provide to Congress.”
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