Indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is fully cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Trump now that a judge has cleared him to hand over documents, and those documents are a doozy.
The new documents come to light as the Senate prepares to open Mr. Trump's impeachment trial, and could bolster Democrats' arguments for admit new evidence and hearing from additional witnesses.
The three committees that led the initial phases of the probe released select material from what they called a "voluminous record of data" gleaned primarily from Parnas' cell phones.
The excerpts show Parnas acting as a conduit between Giuliani and current and former Ukrainian officials, including several close aides of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. One handwritten note reads: "get Zalensky to announce that the Biden case will be investigated" — a reference to the ongoing efforts to get Ukraine to announce probes to benefit Mr. Trump politically.
And yes, the Parnas documents show that Giuliani was acting on orders of Donald Trump.
Committee investigators found an image of a letter from Giuliani to Zelensky dated May 10, 2019, after Zelensky won election but before he was inaugurated. On the day before, The New York Times reported Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to try to dig up dirt against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
In the letter, Giuliani introduced himself as Mr. Trump's personal attorney.
"I am private counsel to President Donald J. Trump. Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States," Giuliani wrote. "This is quite common under American law because the duties and privileges of a President and a private citizen are not the same. Separate representation is usual process."
Giuliani requested a meeting with Zelensky on May 13 or 14 and said he had Mr. Trump's "knowledge and consent" to meet. He said he "would be accompanied by my colleague Victoria Toensing, a distinguished American attorney who is very familiar with this matter."
Giuliani and Parnas, in addition to working with Victoria Toensing and her husband, both GOP political operatives, were also working with a man named Robert Hyde. Hyde is a Connecticut Republican currently running a long shot campaign in CT-5 who apparently has a real problem keeping his mouth shut.
Text messages between Hyde and Parnas were released by the committee and it gets much, much worse, as they were directly monitoring former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich.
The messages released by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee show Hyde providing Parnas was regular updates on Yovanovitch’s location.
“They are moving her tomorrow,” he writes at one point on March 25.
Hyde, of Simsbury, fires off three more messages to Parnas in quick succession later that evening.
“She’s next to the embassy.”
“Not in the embassy.”
“Private security. Been there since Thursday.”
It wasn’t clear from the messages how Hyde knew about Yovanovitch’s movements.
“They know she’s a political puppet,” he wrote. “They will let me know when she’s one the move. And they’ll let me know when she’s on the move.”
Hyde wrote that his associates “are willing to help if we/you would like a price. Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money... what I was told.”
In a subsequent message to Parnas the next day he wrote: “If you want her out they need to make contact with security forces.”
The text messages, strongly suggesting that Parnas had placed a tail on former Ambassador Yovanovich, also mentions a "price" and "if you want her out".
Doesn't take a genius.
And yeah, we need to hear from Hyde, Parnas, and Giuliani under oath. Now.
The Vox guys explain more.