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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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(David Bythewood) #2080

@Pet_Proletariat
Here it is:






Big takeaways are that Lev Parnas realized he was going to take the fall and that he was a loose end. He is getting all of this out there now because he’s terrified of Bill Barr, Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham were involved, Biden is innocent, Trump tried to fire Yovanovitch but got held up by stalling people and his own gutting of the government, and John Dowd tried to silence him with the aid of Jay Sekulow, telling him that since he was working for Rudy and Rudy working for Trump, he was covered by Presidential Privilege – this is why he didn’t testify during House investigations.


#2081

I watch part 1 today. It’s in my “summary”. But Part 2 is slated for tonight. So I was bummed I’d have to read Twitter takes before watching myself. This link worked for me. Thanks!


(David Bythewood) #2082

I know this is parody, but I want it to be real.


#2083

Rachel Maddow’s Interview with Lev Parnas, Pt 1 - Highlights

The full transcript is at the link above. To save you some time, I’ve extracted the highlights.

Things I left out:

  • Maddow’s commentary. Athough it was persuasive and elucidating, I just wanted to cut to the chase.

  • Robert Hyde’s stalking of Ambassador Yovanovitch. This is a crucial story, but it’s still breaking news and has too many unknowns – best covered elsewhere.

  • Other material that seemed redundant – with the aim of distilling this down to just the essentials.

What I added: Section headings that reflect my own opinions. I placed these outside of the “quotation mark bars” to make clear that they are not Maddow’s words and not quotations from Parnas. I used stronger language than Maddow or Parnas. For example, I call out extortion and bribery when I see it. I refer to the announcement of an investigation into Biden as “a smear on Trump’s political rival” – and so on.

Table of Contents - primary takeaways:

  • Trump lied when he said he didn’t know Parnas

  • Trump was out to smear his political rival, not investigate corruption

  • Parnas was Trump’s personal representative in Ukraine

  • Parnas describes one of his extortion sessions

  • Pence is a co-conspirator in the extortion scheme

  • Bolton knew – and is part of the coverup

  • Giuliani offered a bribe to an indicted oligarch: we’ll dismiss your case if you deliver dirt

  • Barr helped set up meetings with the oligarch Giuliani was bribing

  • Barr knew about the extortion scheme and kept it secret

  • Nunes was involved in the scheme to smear Biden and never disclosed this fact while serving as the top Republican investigator

Trump lied when he said he didn’t know Parnas

MADDOW: What do you think is the main inaccuracy or main lie that’s being told that you feel like you can correct?

PARNAS: That the president didn’t know what was going on. President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. He – I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials. I mean, they have no reason to speak to me. Why would President Zelensky’s inner circle or Minister Avakov – or all these people, or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I?

They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they were trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work.

MADDOW: In terms of the president and what he has said about you, he said about you and Mr. Fruman, Igor Fruman: I don’t know those gentlemen. I don’t know about them. I don’t know what they do.

You’re saying that was not a true statement from the president?

PARNAS: He lied. I mean, we’re not friends. I mean, when you say friends, I mean, me and him didn’t watch football games together, we didn’t eat hotdogs. But he know exactly who we were. He know exactly who I was especially because I interacted with him at a lot of events.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: I had a lot of one-on-one conversations with him at gatherings or they have (ph) special like these roundtables, where there are only six people at the table. We have several of those.

And basically, I mean, I was with Rudy more than – I mean, four or five days out of the week. I mean, I was in constant contact with him. So – and I was with Rudy when he would speak to the president, plenty of times. I mean, so it’s just ludicrous.

MADDOW: You’ve been with Mr. Giuliani when he was on the phone with the president?

PARNAS: Absolutely.

Trump was out to smear his political rival, not investigate corruption

MADDOW: When you say that the president knew about your movements and knew what you were doing, are you saying specifically – and I want to sort of drill down on that – that the president was aware you and Mr. Giuliani were working on this effort in Ukraine to basically try to hurt Joe Biden’s political career? He was – he knew about that?

PARNAS: Basically. Yes, it was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and, also, Rudy had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff, the black ledger.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: And that was another thing they were looking into, but it was never about corruption. It was never – it was strictly about Burisma, which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.

Parnas was Trump’s personal representative in Ukraine

MADDOW: Your attorney told the federal court in New York that you were both Rudy Giuliani’s clients and you were working for Mr. Giuliani in his capacity as personal attorney to the president.

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: Which, by the transitive property, makes it seem like you were working for the president of the United States as part of this legal defense.

PARNAS: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely.

MADDOW: And so, did anybody in the U.S. government or Mr. Giuliani actually conveyed to officials in Ukraine that you were there as a representative of President Trump?

PARNAS: Absolutely. To each one of those officials, that – you know, the – I put Rudy on the phone with Mr. Avakov, Minister Avakov several times, Ivan Bakanov, Yuri Lutsenko at the time was the attorney – general.

The first thing I did is to introduce myself and tell them, I’m here on behalf of Rudy Giuliani and the president of the United States, and I’d like to put you on speakerphone for he’d know (ph) to confirm them, which we did. We put Rudy on the phone. Rudy relayed to him basically that we were there on behalf of the president of the United States.

MADDOW: That you were there to speak on President Trump’s behalf.

PARNAS: Correct, exactly, those exact records.

Parnas describes one of his extortion sessions

MADDOW: Did you meet with the Ukrainian official Sergey Shaffer (ph)?

PARNAS: Yes, I did.

MADDOW: Sergey Shaffer is a very senior aide to President Zelensky.

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: It has been reported as far as we understand, from public reporting, that you conveyed to Mr. Shaffer the exact quid pro quo, that you wanted Zelensky to announce investigations into Joe Biden or military aid would not be released to Ukraine. Is that accurate?

PARNAS: It was a little bit more than that. Basically, the message that I was supposed – that I gave Sergey Shaffer was a very harsh message. I was told to give it to him in a very harsh way, not in a pleasant way.

MADDOW: Who told you to give it to him a harsh way?

PARNAS: Mayor Giuliani, Rudy, told me after, you know, meeting with the president at the White House. He called me. The message was, it wasn’t just military aid, it was all aid. Basically their relationships would be sour, that he would – that we would stop giving them any kind of aid that –

MADDOW: Unless?

PARNAS: – unless that there was announcement made – it was several things. There were several demands at that point. A, the most important was the announcement of the Biden investigation.

MADDOW: Did you also convey to him that the U.S. government would stop showing support for Mr. Zelensky, that they wouldn’t attend the inauguration? Or that –

PARNAS: That was – that was the biggest thing, actually. That was – that was the main – it wasn’t – because at that time, you have to understand the way Ukraine is.

For President Zelensky, winning on that platform, being a young president, and not really having any experience, the number one thing – and being at war with Russia at the time, the number one thing was not even aid, and I know it sounds crazy, but it was more support from the president.

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: By having a White House visit, by having a big inauguration, by having all the dignitaries there. That was the key.

At that time, they were already aware because of their conversations with the – I guess with the embassy that – Vice President Pence was supposed to come to the inauguration. It was already discussed. And they were planning it out. They were just working on days that would be good for him.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: At our meeting, I was very, very stern. It was a heated conversation from our part to him, basically telling him what needs to be done. I mean, basically me.

And at the – at – in the conversation, I told him that if he doesn’t – the announcement was the key at that time because of the inauguration, that Pence would not show up. Nobody would show up to his inauguration.

MADDOW: Unless he announced an investigation into Joe Biden, no U.S. officials, particularly Vice President Pence would not come –

(CROSSTALK)

PARNAS: Particularly Vice President Mike Pence.

MADDOW: So, the day after that meeting that you had with Mr. Shaffer –

PARNAS: This was Sunday, Sunday the 12th.

MADDOW: I believe it was the following day that, in fact, Vice President Pence’s visit to the inauguration was canceled.

PARNAS: It was after my phone call. The conversation I laid out to Mr. Shaffer was basically what I was told to do by Giuliani and the president. And then, afterwards, I relayed back to them saying that he’s going to get back to me later that tonight and we’re supposed to meet.

Then around 8:00, or 9:00 at night, I texted them back again saying, any word? What’s the situation? And at that point, because on WhatsApp when a person like disconnects you, and he disconnected me, our conversation, he basically was –

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: He blocked you?

PARNAS: He blocked me. I understood that was a no. So, I called back and said no-go, and he – I remember Rudy going, OK, they’ll see. Basically, the next day, Pence, to my awareness, Trump called up and said, to make sure Pence doesn’t go there.

So –

MADDOW: So, you believe that Mr. Pence’s trip to the inauguration was canceled because they didn’t agree –

PARNAS: Oh, I know, 100 percent.

MADDOW: – to announce an investigation into the Bidens?

PARNAS: Oh, because there’s other – the chain of events, that was key to where we are today, because after that, what left – take a look at what transpires. … So, now, they realize that what I – what I was telling them is true.

Pence is a co-conspirator in the extortion scheme

MADDOW: So Vice President Mike Pence has his planned trip to the inauguration canceled after you were unable to get the Ukrainian government to commit to announcing investigations into Vice President Biden.

Do you know if Vice President Pence was aware that was the quid pro quo, that that was the trade, and that that in fact is why his inaugural visit was called off?

PARNAS: I’m going to use a famous quote by Mr. Sondland, everybody was in the loop.

MADDOW: You believe that Vice President Pence knew what he was – knew that his trip to the inauguration was contingent on those investigations being announced?

PARNAS: Again, I mean, I know he went to Poland also to discuss this on Trump’s behalf. So, he couldn’t have not known, absolutely.

MADDOW: Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying. When Vice President Pence went over there in September 1st, again in President Trump’s stead, you believe – you have reason to believe that Vice President Pence was tasked at that meeting with getting President Zelensky to announce investigation of Joe Biden specifically?

PARNAS: Yes.

MADDOW: And to tell him that they wouldn’t get their aid until they –

PARNAS: I don’t know exactly what he was – but it was all –

(CROSSTALK)

MADDOW: To demand an investigation.

PARNAS: Like I said, the aid itself was something that I think the president decided to do – what’s it called? But it was I think a reaction that there was no announcement being made after so many attempts and so many promises.

Bolton knew – and is part of the coverup

MADDOW: When you say that Mr. Bolton may have something to say about this, did Mr. Bolton know that Vice President Pence was supposed to secure that agreement from Zelensky, that he’d announce these investigations?

PARNAS: I don’t know exactly what Mr. Bolton know, but I know Mr. Bolton was definitely involved in the loop because of the firing of Maria Yovanovitch.

MADDOW: But you believe he knows what the administration was pressuring Ukraine to do?

PARNAS: Bolton?

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: A hundred percent. He knows what happened there.

Giuliani offered a bribe to an indicted oligarch: we’ll dismiss your case if you deliver dirt

MADDOW [showing Parnas one of his handwritten notes]: So, this first note – get Zelensky to announce that the Biden case will be investigated, that’s Mr. Giuliani tasking you, that you should get that commitment from Zelensky?

PARNAS: That was always the main objective. Correct.

MADDOW: Did Rudy Giuliani tell you he had spoken to the attorney general specifically about Ukraine?

PARNAS: Not only Rudy Giuliani. I mean, Victoria and Joe, they were all best friends. I mean, Barr was – Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.

PARNAS: So, at some point we had a meeting at our – in our BLT office on the second floor [the BLT restaurant where they frequently met].

MADDOW: At the Trump hotel?

PARNAS: At the Trump hotel.

At that meeting with Rudy and Victoria and Joe, John brought up saying he had some incredible information from Firtash camp, which later we found out it was I think Lenny Davis gave it to him, but that it was – basically what showed that Andrew Weissmann was doing some legal stuff, and offering a deal, and it could blow up the smaller investigation up the kazoo.

MADDOW: Can I stop you there for a second?

So, the allegation, as you understood it, was that Andrew Weissmann, one of the prosecutors working on the Mueller team, had made – had had an interaction with Dmytro Firtash, who’s under indictment by the Justice Department, who’s fighting extradition here, and that interaction Mr. Solomon (ph) was saying would be something scandalous that would discredit the Mueller investigation.

PARNAS: Correct. So, we were tasked basically with trying to establish a relationship and –

MADDOW: Specifically to get information to try to discredit the Mueller investigation.

PARNAS: Absolutely, yes. And basically, we went to – I was given certain documents by John Solomon that would validate to Dmytro Firtash that I was in the loop and that I knew what was going on, because Mr. Firtash is a gentleman that just doesn’t see anybody, and that’s – you know, it’s impossible to even to get to meet with him.

For us to be able to receive information from Firtash, we had to promise Firtash something.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: So, for Firtash, it was basically telling him we knew his case is worthless here and that he’s being prosecuted for no reason and that basically it could get taken care of. That –

MADDOW: That was your offer to Mr. Firtash.

PARNAS: Correct, correct.

MADDOW: That we can get this prosecution of you dropped.

PARNAS: Your extradition case, correct, yes.

So, that was basically the situation at that point.

MADDOW: So the exchange with Mr. Firtash was going to be, you provide us information that would be detrimental to the public perception of the Mueller investigation, and we in turn will get your case dropped at the DOJ, so you won’t get extradited to the United States anymore?

PARNAS: That’s how it began.

MADDOW: Mr. DiGenova and Ms. Toensing were going to become lawyers to effectuate this trade?

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: And you were supposed to broker this?

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: And what’s this $100,000 a month?

PARNAS: That was expenses for them, because –

MADDOW: That’s what you were supposed to negotiate that this is what they were getting paid?

PARNAS: Yes, correct.

MADDOW: What are you supposed to be getting from about Burisma and the Ukrainian ledger from Lanny Davis and Mr. Firtash?

PARNAS: Well, supposedly, John Solomon said there was stuff (ph), there’s case about that.

MADDOW: Aha. So, that’s why this was all one conversation with Mr. Rudy Giuliani.

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: The – announcing the Biden investigation and talking about getting Firtash off from this Department of Justice prosecution, these were connected?

PARNAS: It was all connected. I mean, it was all – at the end of the day, it was all – the agenda was to make sure that the Ukrainians announced the Biden investigation.

Barr helped set up meetings with the oligarch Giuliani was bribing

MADDOW: Did you ever meet with or speak with or have any interaction with Attorney General William Barr?

PARNAS: I personally did not speak to him, but I was involved in lots of conversations that Joe diGenova had with him in front of me, Rudy had with him in front of me, and setting up meetings with Dmytro Firtash’s team. I was involved in that.

Barr knew about the extortion scheme and kept it secret

MADDOW: Do you know if Rudy Giuliani was ever in contact with Mr. Barr, specifically about the fact that he was trying to get Ukraine to announce these investigations into Joe Biden?

PARNAS: Oh, absolutely.

MADDOW: Mr. Barr knew about it?

PARNAS: Mr. Barr had to have known everything. I mean, it’s impossible.

MADDOW: Did Rudy Giuliani tell you he had spoken to the attorney general specifically about Ukraine?

PARNAS: Not only Rudy Giuliani. I mean, Victoria and Joe, they were all best friends. I mean, Barr – Barr was – Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.

MADDOW: When President Trump and President Zelensky spoke in July, we know from their White House notes of the call, that President Trump told Mr. Zelensky that he should contact William Barr about these investigations –

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: – that he wanted him to do, including into Joe Biden –

PARNAS: Correct.

Nunes was involved in the scheme to smear Biden and never disclosed this fact while serving as the top Republican investigator

MADDOW: Do you know Congressman Devin Nunes?

PARNAS: Yes, I do.

MADDOW: What’s been your relationship with him?

PARNAS: We don’t have too much of a relationship. We met several times at the Trump hotel, but our relationship started getting basically where it expanded was when I was introduced to his aide, Derek Harvey, and the reason why Derek Harvey was more – I understood, I was told at that time because Devin Nunes had an ethics, something to do with an ethics committee, and he couldn’t be in a spotlight. He was kind of shunned a little bit and that he was looking into this Ukraine stuff also, wanted to help out. And Devin Nunes – they gave me Derek Harvey to deal with.

MADDOW: You told Mr. Harvey what you and Mr. Giuliani were working on in Ukraine, trying to get Ukraine to announce this investigation?

PARNAS: He was aware of that already. He knew everything.

MADDOW: He already knew that by the time he talked to you.

PARNAS: He had a lot of information already.

MADDOW: Do you believe he’d gotten that information from Mr. Giuliani?

PARNAS: No. I think that they – like I said, there was other people doing like this op research or whatever.

MADDOW: Oppo research.

PARNAS: I don’t know what you call it, but it was coming from different sides, yeah.

MADDOW: Given that interaction that you just described with Congressman Nunes and his aide, Mr. Harvey, does it strike you as unusual or inappropriate that Devin Nunes would be one of the lead investigators into this scandal on the House Intelligence Committee? He’s obviously the top Republican on that committee?

PARNAS: I was in shock when I was watching the hearings and when I saw Devin Nunes sitting up there, and then there was a picture where Derek Harvey was in back over there sitting. I texted my attorney I said I can’t believe this is happening.

MADDOW: Because?

PARNAS: Because they were involved in getting all this stuff on Biden. I mean, Derek Harvey had several interviews – Skype interviews I set up with different prosecutors like Haladitsky (ph), which the anti-corruption prosecutor of Ukraine, Kostiantyn Kulyk was one of the major guys that’s had this whole Biden stuff.

So, it’s hard to see them lie like that when you know it’s like that scary because you know, he was sitting there and making all these statements and all that when he knew very well that he knew what was going on. He knew what’s happening. He knows who I am.


(David Bythewood) #2084

Trump is adding Ken Starr AND Alan Dershowitz to his defense team?

Wow, maybe he will have Rudy on it after all, with a move this dumb.

Trump impeachment defense team will include Clinton prosecutor Ken Starr and Jeffrey Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz


Who is William Barr? Narrated by Jamie Lee of “Girl Code” & “Crashing”

BREAKING NEWS: From top to bottom - Pam Bondi, Ken Starr, and Alan Dershowitz pose for their official Trump Impeachment Legal Team Photo.
image


#2085

Mueller Memos Part 4: FBI Documents That Congress Had To Fight To Get


Day 1096
(David Bythewood) #2086

The state of Virginia is under a state of emergency because of threats from armed militias (or, as Trump calls them, very fine people). The FBI arrested a trio trying to smuggle in an assault weapon with 1500 rounds.

And Trump just through napalm on the fire:
image

Also:
image

Heads Up:

And:

Devin Nunes to the honorable Ted Lieu: Take back everything about me working with Lev Parnas and Rudy or I’ll sue.

Ted Lieu responds: Bring it. Truth is the best defense.


#2087

Cross-posting :raised_hands:


#2088

:fire:

New documents from Lev Parnas show more texts about possible surveillance of former US ambassador to Ukraine

Plus more texts proving Nunes’s involvement

House Democrats on Friday released new documents from indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas ahead of the Senate trial that includes new information about the apparent surveillance of former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and additional contacts between Parnas and an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes of California.

The new documents add to the growing trove of allegations and evidence that have come from Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas this week. Democrats have released three sets of Parnas documents this week after his attorney provided materials to the committee last weekend, and Parnas did television interviews with CNN and MSNBC in which he implicated Trump and said the efforts were “all about 2020.”

READ: House Democrats release additional materials from indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas

The new documents include screenshots of undated text messages that appear to show Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, messaging with a foreign number from Belgium, which appear to describe efforts to surveil Yovanovitch. Hyde appeared to share the screenshots with Parnas, which is how they wound up on his phone that he turned over to House investigators.

The Belgian country-code number sends Hyde a screenshot of an official photo of Yovanovitch. The Belgium number, whose identity is not known, writes “My contacts are checking,” adding, "I will give you the address next week."

Hyde replied, "Awesome."

In another series of texts, the Belgian number tells Hyde at 2:05 p.m., “Nothing has changed she is still not moving they check today again,” shortly adding, "It’s confirmed we have a person inside."

"She had visitors," the Belgian number texted in another exchange.

The messages come after an earlier document release showed Hyde texting with Parnas about the apparent surveillance. Hyde has denied conducting surveillance of Yovanovitch.

The new documents also show communications between Parnas and Nunes aide Derek Harvey, in which they arrange interviews with Ukrainian officials and apparent meetings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., including with Giuliani.

The new materials draw Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, even further into the efforts undertaken by Giuliani and his associates to push out Yovanovitch in Ukraine and dig up dirt on the President’s political rivals. Last month, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee included in their impeachment inquiry report phone records of calls exchanged between Nunes and Parnas and other allies of President Donald Trump.

Nunes admitted Wednesday to speaking on the phone with Parnas, who has become a key figure in the Ukraine scandal, after previously saying such a conversation would have been "very unlikely."

The WhatsApp exchanges show that Harvey raised questions about foreign assistance to Ukraine in late March 2019.

On March 29, 2019, Harvey asked Parnas, “Can we get materials?”

Parnas told Harvey in an April text message that he would be interviewing “the general prosecutor that got fired by Biden,” who is Viktor Shokin. Parnas also references Ukraine’s then-prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko. Both prosecutors also spoke to Giuliani in his effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

"Let’s do our call at 12 and we can do the first prosecutor at 1 your time?" Parnas texts Harvey on April 17, 2019.

"Okay," Harvey responds.

Two days later, Harvey texts Parnas: “Lev. I think we are best served by sending the official letter and receiving documentation before any more interviews.”

The text exchanges between Harvey and Parnas includes multiple references to John Solomon, the former conservative columnist for The Hill who published columns attacking Yovanovitch.

In one text, Harvey tells Parnas in April 2019 that “Solomon needs to get me the material.”

There are multiple references to meetings apparently at the Trump Hotel, including a May 7, 2019, meeting with Giuliani and Solomon.

“Can you come now,” Parnas asks.

“Yes,” Harvey responds.

A spokesman for Nunes did not respond to a request for comment.


(David Bythewood) #2089

Just making a side note here about the Trump push to make bribery of foreign officials legal.

He bribed Ukraine. This could well be a push to retroactively protect himself on the Ukraine extortion. Would anybody put it past him to try that?
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-17/white-house-considers-changes-to-law-banning-overseas-bribes


#2090

Meeting between Giuliani and Barr at DOJ offices finally revealed

Further corroboration that Barr was “in the loop” with Giuliani and Trump in pressuring Ukraine to smear Biden.

So now we have:

  • This meeting between Giuliani and Barr at the DOJ offices (link above).
  • Parnas’s statement that Barr was “basically on the team” and helped set up meetings with Ukrainians as they carried out the scheme.
  • Trump’s own conversation with the President of Ukraine in which Trump told him five times that the Attorney General is the point person on matters relating to investigating Biden. (transcript - search on “Attorney General”)

Am I missing anything else? The big question is why hasn’t Barr recused himself? I wish someone in Congress would take this on and call out Barr. At the very least, the House could take a vote, even if it’s just advisory, that Barr should recuse himself. More importantly, they should open a formal investigation into his involvement.


#2091

New Impeachment Documents

The House Impeachment Managers Memorandum

https://t.co/Js4hyUPmst?amp=1


The White House’s Response


Trump Legal Team Denies Impeachment Charges in First Official Response

In a six-page letter formally responding to the impeachment charges, President Trump’s lawyers rejected the case against him as illegitimate and called the effort to remove him dangerous.


(David Bythewood) #2092

The things Parnas believed are truly cult-like and more than a little anti-Semitic in its rabid fear of Soros, akin to anything you can find in Q-Anonsense mythos.

“They used me, abused me, and threw me out with the trash.”

Lev Parnas Dishes on Kushner, Maduro, and Soros

In an interview from his lawyer’s office, the ex-Giuliani ally talked cannabis, conspiracies, and one very weird meeting with the lawyers of an indicted Ukrainian oligarch.

Should have seen this coming; Pam Bondi and Lev Parnas both lived in Florida and moved in the same circles, after all.



(David Bythewood) #2093


(David Bythewood) #2094

Um… can anybody confirm or deny this:

So somebody found me this in asking around, showing that is wrong. They can MOVE for dismissal, which is still bad, but they can’t out-of-hand dismiss.

House Impeachment Managers File Crushing Brief Arguing For Trump’s Conviction

House Impeachment Managers File Crushing Brief Arguing For Trump's Conviction via @politicususa

Trump’s tactics always shift the excuse from “I didn’t do it” to “yeah, I did it, but it’s not wrong”. Next usually comes “okay, so it was wrong, what are you going to do about it?”


Dershowitz and Starr may bring a slightly more reality-based Trump defense



#2095

The Senate can move to dismiss at any point during the impeachment trial but they need a simple majority. That was the risk from the beginning.


#2096

Schiff says NSA, CIA withholding Ukraine info due to White House pressure

This is the first time we’re hearing about the intelligence community withholding information from Congress. :unamused:

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Schiff was asked about a POLITICO report that intelligence agencies officials don’t want to testify in public during an upcoming hearing in the House Intelligence panel on global security threats, asking that the session be held in private instead. Trump slammed the intelligence chiefs one year ago for the assessment of Iran, calling them “extremely passive and naïve” on the issue.

Schiff confirmed that report, and then asserted that Ukraine-related information is being withheld from Capitol Hill. Schiff blamed the White House for the failure to turn over the information to lawmakers.

“And I’ll say something even more concerning to me, and that is the intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine,” Schiff said. “The NSA, in particular, is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial.”

Schiff added: “There are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course. We are counting on the intelligence community not only to speak truth to power, but to resist pressure from the administration to withhold information from Congress because the administration fears that they incriminate them.”

An Intelligence Committee official later said, “Both the NSA and CIA initially pledged cooperation, and it appears now that the White House has interceded before production of documents could begin.”

There were no details on what documents were being withheld or how this information may play into the Senate impeachment trial.

Watch Here:


(David Bythewood) #2097

Yeah, we found the full story. Apparently PV there never sources their stories. I worry, since that post had over 1k likes and re-tweets. Disinfo spreader.

The story there is that Trump’s LEGAL TEAM would have that power, which was the issue, and appears to be untrue.


#2098

Did you report them to Twitter?


#2099

Rachel Maddow’s Interview with Lev Parnas, Pt 2 - Highlights

The full transcript is at the link above. I’ve extracted the highlights below.

I left out Maddow’s commentary which was excellent, but I wanted to capture just the essence of the interview.

I’ve added section headings that reflect my interpretation of what Parnas was saying. The headings are my own words, not those of Parnas or Maddow.

Table of Contents - primary takeaways:

  • Parnas feels Barr is the real power behind Trump. He and his family fear Barr.

  • Parnas believes Joe Biden did nothing wrong – he helped rid Ukraine of a corrupt attorney general.

  • The former Prosecutor General of Ukraine pushed to oust our Ambassador – in exchange, he would provide smears on Biden.

  • Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is a co-conspirator.

  • Parnas again emphasizes that the announcement they were extorting from Ukraine had to be about investigating Biden, not just corruption in general. It was all about smearing Biden, not rooting out corruption.

  • Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, is a co-conspirator.

  • Trump helped Giuliani as they tried to get a visa for Shokin so he could come to the U.S. and smear Biden.

  • Trump shared his lawyer, John Dowd, with Parnas. Parnas believed Trump’s lawyer would help with his defense.

  • Instead of defending Parnas,Trump’s lawyer pressured him to sacrifice himself to save Trump. That’s when Parnas fired him.

  • Trump tried to fire Yovanovitch several times, but the State Department kept refusing before finally complying. Parnas witnessed one of the times Trump gave the order.

  • The purpose of Giuliani’s smear campaign against Yovanovitch was to persuade Pompeo to comply with Trump’s order to fire her.

Parnas feels Barr is the real power behind Trump. He and his family fear Barr.

LEV PARNAS, INDICTED GIULIANI ASSOCIATE: My only objective is to get the truth out because I never thought I was doing anything wrong. I still, you know, I regret certain things that I did, because, like, you know, hurting the ambassador, you know?

MADDOW: Yes.

And right now, the scary part, and that’s what I keep mentioning and people don’t understand is, there’s a lot of Republicans that would go against him. The only reason – if you’ll take a look, and you know very well because you have been following, the difference between why Trump is so powerful now, and he wasn’t as powerful in ‘16 and ‘17 –

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: – he became that powerful when he got William Barr.

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: People are scared. Am I scared? Yes, and because I think I’m more scared of our own Justice Department than of these criminals right now, because, you know, the scariest part is getting locked in some room and being treated as an animal when you did nothing wrong and – or when you’re not, you know, and that’s the tool they’re using.

I mean, just – because they’re trying (ph) to scare me into not talking and with God’s help, and with my lawyer next to me that I know will go bat for me no matter what, with the truth –

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: – and I’m taking a chance.

My wife is scared. My kids are nervous.

Parnas believes Joe Biden did nothing wrong – he helped rid Ukraine of a corrupt attorney general.

MADDOW: In terms of the information, the allegations against Vice President Biden, Mr. Shokin makes allegations against Mr. Biden. Mr. Lutsenko also makes allegations against Mr. Biden. Do you believe that those allegations were true?

PARNAS: When we were dealing with it, when I was in the middle of the thick of things, I think I was kind of – I keep saying it’s a cultish environment being around President Trump because I mean, like, I’ve been in D.C. for two years, I never left the Trump Hotel type of situation.

So, I truly believe seeing different information that was handed to us at that time that Joe Biden was doing something illegal, not so much Hunter Biden but more Joe Biden.

But after analyzing all the evidence and sitting back and really – what’s it called – understanding what’s going on, I don’t think – I don’t think Vice President Biden did anything wrong. I think he was protecting our country and getting rid of probably a crooked attorney general.

And people used this to their advantage. A lot of rich people in Ukraine have their own agenda. And they use us here for their own political stuff. So I think this is – was a big one.

The former Prosecutor General of Ukraine pushed to oust our Ambassador – in exchange, he would provide smears on Biden.

MADDOW: In terms of the material that was handed over to intelligence, on March 22nd, Mr. Lutsenko texts you in Russian, there’s a translation that’s provided by the committee.

It says: It’s just that if you don’t make a decision about madam, you are bringing into question all my allegations including about B.

So when he says “madam” is he talking about –

PARNAS: Ambassador Yovanovitch.

MADDOW: – Ambassador Yovanovitch?

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: And when he says, all my allegations including about B –

PARNAS: Burisma.

MADDOW: – is that about Burisma and Biden?

PARNAS: Yes.

MADDOW: OK. Do you know if it’s Burisma or Biden? I guess –

PARNAS: It was always Biden. Burisma, it was just – I mean, nobody cares about Burisma or Zlochevsky. It was – the concern was Biden, Hunter Biden.

MADDOW: In that text message to you, is Mr. Lutsenko saying in effect, listen, if you want me to make these Biden allegations, you’re going to have to get rid of this ambassador?

PARNAS: Absolutely.

Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is a co-conspirator.

PARNAS: That’s when we flew to Paris, and in Paris, we met Rudy before – and when we were in Paris with Rudy, basically, that’s when I found out that Perry was going to [Zelensky’s inauguration in Ukraine] – they decided to send Perry instead [of Pence].

MADDOW: Energy Secretary Rick Perry would be going.

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: Did you – you learned that from Mr. Giuliani?

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: Was Mr. Perry, to your knowledge, aware of what you and Mr. Giuliani were trying to do in Ukraine of terms of getting these investigations announced?

PARNAS: I don’t know to what extent he was told about me. I don’t know what he was told. Definitely he knew about Rudy because he was told – he called Rudy on his way there to ask him what to discuss and Rudy told him that to make sure to give him the message.

MADDOW: Mr. Giuliani told Secretary Perry what you need to convey to the Ukrainian government they need to announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

PARNAS: Absolutely.

MADDOW: Do you know if part of the message that Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry was also that Ukraine would lose their military aid, they’d lose their U.S. aid, if they didn’t announce those investigations?

PARNAS: I don’t recall them having a specific conversation about that.

MADDOW: OK.

PARNAS: It was more of just telling him what he needs to do to announce it. I don’t know what other conversation they could have had prior or after.

MADDOW: Uh-huh.

PARNAS: But I know that there was another conversation that Perry called after the inauguration telling him that he spoke to Zelensky and Zelensky’s going to do it.

MADDOW: Perry says, I spoke with Zelensky and I got him to agree.

PARNAS: Yes.

MADDOW: I got him to agree to announce the investigation.

Parnas again emphasizes that the announcement they were extorting from Ukraine had to be about investigating Biden, not just corruption in general. It was all about smearing Biden, not rooting out corruption.

PARNAS: Yes, and they did an announcement but they didn’t announce [an investigation into Biden].

See, this was the whole key. They would kind of say every time somebody would meet Zelensky, they would, like, agree and then they would walk it back.

So they announced something about corruption that he’s going to get corruption but Giuliani blew his lid on that saying that’s not what we discussed. That it wasn’t supposed to be a corruption announcement. It has to be about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and Burisma.

MADDOW: He said the name, Biden, needs to be spoken, was his insistence?

PARNAS: Always, always.

PARNAS: I know that there was another conversation that Perry called after the inauguration, telling him that he spoke to Zelensky and Zelensky’s going to do it.

Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, is a co-conspirator.

MADDOW: Did you ever have any communications with the counsel to the president, Jay Sekulow, during the time that you were involved in all this?

PARNAS: Several conversations. One, in particular, which I would have to refresh my memory by looking at my text messages with him, but had to do with – I think it was Viktor Shokin’s visa, or something to do with Ukraine. And Rudy was busy at the time and basically told me that Jay was aware of everything, that he brought him up to speed, that I could call him and he was on top of it.

MADDOW: Was – by that did he mean that Mr. Sekulow was part of this effort to try to get Ukraine to announce investigations?

PARNAS: Oh, absolutely. One of the things I think was the best quote ever was when Mr. Sondland said everybody’s in the loop and –

MADDOW: You believe that everybody was in the loop?

PARNAS: I don’t believe. I know.

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: I know they were in the loop. I was witness of conversations and – you know, between them. And everybody was in the loop.

Everybody didn’t agree with the loop. I mean, Jay Sekulow didn’t agree with what Rudy was doing, but knew what he was doing.

MADDOW: How do you know that he didn’t agree with it?

PARNAS: Because I heard them talk about it.

MADDOW: And was his objection?

PARNAS: He didn’t want to be involved in the Ukraine stuff. He – I don’t know what his – you’d have to ask him, what his (INAUDIBLE). My feeling from the conversations, and watching the way Jay approached that situation was he just didn’t want to be a part of it, and wanted to stay away from it.

Trump helped Giuliani as they tried to get a visa for Shokin so he could come to the U.S. and smear Biden.

MADDOW: You mentioned that you were trying to get Mr. Shokin a visa to come to the United States.

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: Why were you trying to do that?

PARNAS: Well, after the conversation Mr. Shokin had with Mr. Giuliani that we had on Skype, they had discussed on the range they were going to have Mr. Shokin come here, and Mr. Giuliani wanted to debrief him here in front of Mr. Lindsey Graham, and – certain other people like the attorney general.

MADDOW: Because Mr. Shokin was going to say what?

PARNAS: He was basically going to testify and say that Joe Biden basically forced him out because he was going to investigate Hunter Biden and Burisma.

MADDOW: Was the president, himself, ever involved in the effort to get this visa from Mr. Shokin? In the text messages that were released, Mr. Giuliani appears to tell you he’s going to get number one involved in this effort to get Mr. Shokin into the U.S.

PARNAS: Absolutely.

MADDOW: Was that a reference to the president?

PARNAS: Absolutely.

MADDOW: Did the president ever work on it?

PARNAS: Of course.

Trump shared his lawyer, John Dowd, with Parnas. Parnas believed Trump’s lawyer would help with his defense.

MADDOW: How did you end up with Mr. Downing and Mr. Dowd representing you when the impeachment inquiry had contacted you for testimony?

PARNAS: That’s a good question, Rachel.

First of all, what happened was we were in Vienna when we got notified that we had a congressional, what’s it called –

MADDOW: Request.

PARNAS: Request.

MADDOW: Yes.

PARNAS: And I was there with Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova working on the Dmytro Firtash case. And first people came to was them, and I said, what do I do? They said, call Rudy.

I called Rudy, what do we do? Rudy’s first response was, I don’t worry about it, forget it. I was like, what you mean don’t worry about it? You’re an attorney. Please help me get an attorney. Rudy came back and said, oh, I have a great, John Dowd.

And we were like, OK. We got excited. I didn’t know who John Dowd was. But I knew he was the president’s attorney. It was a very, like, you know, exciting situation even though it was, you know, all this going on. It’s still, you know, like in the Looney Tunes.

But I would I called John Dowd, introduced myself like Rudy connected us and at first everything was good. Then, like, 15 minutes later I get a call from him saying, we have a problem that I’m not going to probably be able to represent you.

I said, what happened? He goes, I’ve been speaking with Jay Sekulow, and, you know, because I was the president’s attorney, I’m still kind of doing work for the president, there’s a conflict of interest unless he wants to waive it. I don’t think the president is going to waive that conflict.

Because at that point, John Dowd didn’t know who I was also. He didn’t think I had any relationship with the president. And I responded to him, I said I think he will. I said –

MADDOW: You think the president will waive the conflict.

PARNAS: Absolutely.

MADDOW: And let Dowd represent you.

PARNAS: Absolutely. I said, give Rudy a call, I’m sure we can work this out, I said because this is very important.

About 15, 20 minutes later I got called back from John Dowd. He said, you’re one lucky guy, I just got called from Jay Sekulow, I got the permission and I’m getting it in writing shortly.

Instead of defending Parnas,Trump’s lawyer pressured him to sacrifice himself to save Trump. That’s when Parnas fired him.

MADDOW: You got a request from Congress to come – for you and Mr. Fruman to come testify to the impeachment investigation.

PARNAS: Yes.

MADDOW: You were inclined to say yes.

PARNAS: Absolutely, I had nothing to hide. We were not doing anything illegal.

MADDOW: Your lawyer, John Dowd, however, advised you not to cooperate and said the president would give you cover for not cooperating?

PARNAS: It was a little more than that. I was brought into John Dowd’s house and he got Jay Sekulow on the phone and also Rudy and Victoria, then basically they came up with a situation that said that because I worked for Rudy and because I worked for Victoria and because Rudy worked for the president, we had three-way privilege and that basically Pat Cipollone was going to be writing a letter to Congress telling them to – that nobody’s cooperating, and that would protect us under the same order and he would follow up with that.

Again, this was the president of the United States – so, I mean, I thought, OK. I said if – here’s all the information I have. I did my duty. I gave him whatever paperwork I had.

MADDOW: Mr. Dowd was your attorney for a time and then you changed attorneys.

PARNAS: I fired him in jail.

MADDOW: You fired him when you were in jail?

PARNAS: Yes.

MADDOW: What happened there?

PARNAS: And Mr. Downing.

Basically, when we were arrested, obviously, I had nowhere else to call. I didn’t know – we just retained Dowd and Downing. So I called Downing to come there and I started seeing in the process of the bail stuff the way things were going on that they were more concentrating on – I didn’t feel that they were trying to get me out, and at that point, I had a meeting with John Dowd and Downing inside the jail.

And John Dowd just instead of comforting me and, you know, trying to calm me down, telling me, like, it’s going to be OK, like, don’t worry, basically start talking to me like a drill sergeant and telling me, giving me orders, like, you know, be a good boy, like, you know.

MADDOW: He said “be a good boy”?

PARNAS: No, I don’t – I don’t want to quote him exactly on what the words, what he used in that because it was a while ago. I don’t remember exactly.

But it was – it was his condescending attitude toward basically, like, who do you think you are telling the president or Giuliani or anybody to, like, come out and because I – one of the things I said, I said, I can’t believe nobody is coming out in our defense and saying we didn’t do anything wrong, we’re good citizens, you know, we work.

And basically word for word, and then I said, if you don’t get out of here right now, something bad is going to happen because I don’t want to see the two of you.

And at that point, Downing hit the emergency button and the security took me out and took them out.

MADDOW: This is a very heated confrontation. You told Downing and Dowd to get out.

PARNAS: I threw them out.

MADDOW: Were they telling you to sacrifice yourself in order to protect the president?

PARNAS: That’s what I felt.

MADDOW: Is the implication of this story of the lawyers that you feel, that people loyal to the president and close to the president were trying to influence your defense and your case in a way that was against your interests but in the president’s interests?

PARNAS: Absolutely. I think they tried to keep me quiet.

Trump tried to fire Yovanovitch several times, but the State Department kept refusing before finally complying. Parnas witnessed one of the times Trump gave the order.

PARNAS: The president kept firing her and couldn’t (ph) – and she wouldn’t leave. So nobody could understand what was going on.

MADDOW: Public information, she was removed, at the time that she was removed, she was back in the United States at the end of the April, you’re saying that the president tried to fire before that.

PARNAS: He fired her probably at least, to my knowledge, at least four, five times. He even had a breakdown and scream, “fire her” to Madeline (ph), his assistant, the secretary, before he fired her. He said, Mr. President, I can’t do that.

MADDOW: He was directing the State Department to remove her and the State Department was refusing?

PARNAS: Correct.

MADDOW: But the basis of your belief that the president had tried to remove Ambassador Yovanovitch multiple times and it for some reason didn’t work is because you talked to the president about that?

PARNAS: About firing her, I spoke to the president once about that, or twice. Once or twice. Once directly at our dinner when he fired her actually at the dinner which was the most surprising thing ever I –

MADDOW: Tell me – tell me more.

PARNAS: Basically, at that dinner, we had a conversation, there was, like, six of us there, it was an intimate dinner.

MADDOW: At the White House?

PARNAS: It was – no, it was a Trump Hotel. It was a private – like area there. Looks like a little White House.

MADDOW: And the president was there?

PARNAS: Oh, absolutely. The president was there, his son, Don Jr., was there. I don’t know how the issue is – the conversation came up, but I do remember me telling the president the ambassador was bad-mouthing him and saying he was going to get impeached, something to that effect.

And at that time, he turned around to John DeStefano, who was his aide at the time, and said, “fire her”. And we all – there was a silence in the room. He responded to him, said Mr. President, we can’t do that right now because Pompeo hasn’t been confirmed yet. That Pompeo is not confirmed yet and we don’t have – this is when Tillerson was gone, but Pompeo was confirmed, so they go, wait until (INAUDIBLE).

So several conversations he mentioned it again. I don’t know how many times at that dinner, once or twice or three times. But he fired her several times.

MADDOW: He reiterated that she should be fired then he was ordering her to be fired.

PARNAS: Correct.

The purpose of Giuliani’s smear campaign against Yovanovitch was to persuade Pompeo to comply with Trump’s order to fire her.

PARNAS: That was not the only time he fired her because he fired her at least four other occasions that Rudy Giuliani went to the White House, had conversations with him and then came back and then informed me, Victoria, and Joe about what transpired. He fired her when he gave an order to Mike Pompeo once, which he didn’t do, Secretary Pompeo didn’t fire her.

Then Rudy came back and he told him, go speak to Pompeo. Rudy went to speak to Pompeo. They got into it.

Then they had another meeting at the White House where he told Bolton to fire her. Bolton didn’t want to fire her. Tell Pompeo to fire here.

Rudy got into it with all of them again. And at one point, he told Madeleine (ph) to fire her.

So, I mean, that was becoming comical because I couldn’t understand, you’re the president – that’s one of the things – when I say comical, it’s not more comical, but at that point, it was more of affirmation to me that there was people against the president of the United States if they’re not listening to his orders.

So that’s where I think the smear campaign started coming about. I think it was like a boost to them to help him if the media started, like, egging him on, that there was really something there, then he would just tweet and fire her.