By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) The Garbage Party and their media sycophants were in ‘bombshell’ mode again earlier this week when an indicted figure with business ties to presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani went on MSNBC to claim that President Trump conspired to withhold military aid to Ukraine.
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The gist is this: Parnas is claiming that he, along with Giuliani and another associate, Igor Fruman, were conducting investigations into Ukrainian and Democrat interference in the 2016 election strictly to help the president win his reelection bid.
Parnas told ABC News Thursday that “it was all about 2020, to make sure [Trump] had another four years.”
“That’s the way everybody viewed it,” Parnas said. “There was no other reason for doing it.”
This comes after both men were indicted by the Southern District of New York on charges of conspiring to violate straw and foreign donor bans. And, of course, by association, Giuliani has been implicated as well, though he hasn’t been charged. Yet.
The statement came during Parnas’s second night of back-to-back television interviews, during which he implicated President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Devin Nunes, and the Trump legal team in activities central to the House impeachment investigation and Trump’s Senate trial.
In Parnas ‘ second night appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show Thursday, he alleged that former Energy Secretary Rick Perry also played a direct role in the plan to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into opening an investigation into former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Parnas recalled that Perry called Giuliani when Perry was on his way to Zelenskiy ‘s inauguration “to ask him what to discuss, and Rudy told him to make sure to give [Zelenskiy] the message” that Zelenskiy should announce the opening of an investigation into Biden.
Perry then called Giuliani after the inauguration to confirm “that he spoke to Zelenskiy, and Zelenskiy’s going to do it,” Parnas alleged.
The Cliff Notes version: Everyone in Trump’s orbit is guilty of interfering in Ukrainian affairs except Joe and Hunter Biden (because we can’t have Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic leader, implicated in anything regarding Ukraine, though he is).
But Vadym Prystaiko, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, told CNN Thursday night he has no idea what Parnas is talking about, says he hasn’t talked to Parnas personally, and is advising everyone to stop looking at the shiny objects he is dangling before their eyes.
As Sara A. Carter reported on her website:
“It’s all in Ukrainian media as well — today and yesterday — and strangely enough, my name was not mentioned, even though I’m the minister of foreign affairs,” said Vadym Prystaiko.
“Frankly, I have not spoken with this individual, and again, frankly, I don’t trust any word he is now saying. The assistance that he’s referring to was reviewed each and every year, annually at least twice, and half of the year and end of the year. so we knew this was going to be reviewed. Some times it would be cut because of some political understanding of what is to be done in Ukraine.”
Vadym Prystaiko, Foreign Minister of Ukraine: "Frankly, I have not spoken with [Lev Parnas], and again, frankly, I don’t trust any word he is now saying." pic.twitter.com/bRUm3mleqN
— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2020
As for pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching an investigation into the Bidens, he has said Trump and his people have never asked him to do that. What the president did do is offer help from the Justice Department to investigation allegations of corruption, and in that vein, Trump is well within his authority as president to do so.
As for Parnas, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel, appearing on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday, said his credibility and that of the media covering his every word have credibility problems.
“The problem … for the media is that this goes beyond the question of Lev Parnas’ credibility,” she said. “I mean, that’s a big first strike. But also the information that he claims to impart is irrelevant or unbelievable.”
She continued, “Part of this is supposedly the notes that he scribbled,” Strassel continued.
Here’s a handwritten note from Lev Parnas.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) January 14, 2020
“We don’t know when they were, we don’t know in what context. And to the extent they might apply to something, it’s to Rudy Giuliani’s activities, which Rudy Giuliani was completely open about the entire time he was doing.”
Parnas “claims to suggest that he knows what was going through Donald Trump’s mind. What [Attorney General] Bill Barr knew? What [Vice President] Mike Pence knew?” Strassel said. “Look, we’ve got people who are far closer to the president than Lev Parnas who would not… seek to make that claim. So this is just sort of a fantastical tale,” Strassel added.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Prystaiko would tend to agree.
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