Indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is flipping on Trump and wants to cooperate with House Democrats, according to his lawyer.
Lev Parnas, an indicted Ukrainian-American businessman who has ties to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is now prepared to comply with requests for records and testimony from congressional impeachment investigators, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.
Parnas, who helped Giuliani look for dirt on Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, is a key figure in the impeachment inquiry that is examining whether Trump abused his office for personal political gain.
His apparent decision to work with the congressional committees represents a change of heart. Parnas rebuffed a request from three House of Representatives committees last month to provide documents and testimony.
“We will honor and not avoid the committee’s requests to the extent they are legally proper, while scrupulously protecting Mr. Parnas’ privileges including that of the Fifth Amendment,” said the lawyer, Joseph Bondy, referring to his client’s constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On Capitol Hill, the House leadership and a spokesperson for the House Intelligence Committee declined comment.
His previous lawyer, John Dowd, wrote to the committees in early October complaining that their requests for documents were “overly broad and unduly burdensome.”
Parnas pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court last month to being part of a scheme that used a shell company to donate money to a pro-Trump election committee and illegally raise money for a former congressman as part of an effort to have the president remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
The indictment does not address the issues involved in the impeachment inquiry.
Parnas would be a crucial witness if he were to cooperate. He has said he played a key role in connecting Giuliani to Ukrainian officials during Giuliani’s investigation into Biden and his son Hunter.
It gets worse. House Democrats have released the transcripts of the testimony of former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, and the full details of her testimony are outright shocking.
Yovanovitch said she first learned in late 2018 that Giuliani had been involved in Ukraine policy when Ukrainian officials alerted her to the former New York mayor’s communications with a former Ukrainian prosecutor general.
She described how Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had urged her to use Twitter to express support for Trump in order to save her job. “He said, you know, you need to go big or go home. You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the president,” she said.
Several witnesses have said Sondland, a major Trump donor, played a major role in Ukraine policy, despite the country not being part of the European Union. Sondland also testified in the House probe, and his transcript is expected on Tuesday.
Michael McKinley, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told House investigators that he quit his post after the State Department opted not to defend Yovanovitch from criticism by Trump and his political allies.
She was made a target by Trump himself.
Yovanovitch testified on Oct. 11 that she felt threatened by Trump telling Zelenskiy on the call that she was going to “go through some things.”
“I didn’t know what it meant. I was very concerned,” she said. “I still am.”
She said she was astonished to be featured in a presidential phone call and that Trump would speak about her “or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.”
When she contacted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to get his support, Pompeo said he would take care of it by contacting FOX News host Sean Hannity. And that actually worked for a while.
Because our country is corrupt as hell.