New materials released by House Democrats appear to show Ukraine’s top prosecutor offering an associate of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, damaging information related to former vice president Joe Biden if the Trump administration recalled the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
The cache of documents provided to Congress by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and released by the House adds a number of previously unknown details about Giuliani and associates’ efforts to obtain damaging information on Trump’s Democratic opponents.
Included in the documents was a message from Giuliani to Parnas saying he involved a person he called “no 1” in an effort to lift a ban on the visa –implemented by Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch — for former Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin, who was planning to travel to the U.S. to make claims about Biden.
Another document was a letter to President Zelensky from Giuliani requesting a May 14 meeting in his “capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”
In a handwritten note from Parnas on a piece of stationery from the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Vienna, it appears Parnas was involved in convincing Zelensky to announce an investigation into Biden.
“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.”
Documents also show that before Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was removed from her post, a Parnas associate now running for Congress in Connecticut named Robert F. Hyde (R), was sending Yovanovitch menacing texts that she was under surveillance in Ukraine. A lawyer for Yovanovitch is suggesting an investigation is warranted.
The collective materials show that Lev Parnas communicated with many Ukraine officials, among them prosecutor at the time Yuri Lutsenko, who was anxious to remove Yovanovitch in part because she had been critical of him and was seeking an anti-corruption and quasi-independent bureau.
The messages, written in Russian, show Lutsenko urging Parnas to force out Yovanovitch in exchange for cooperation regarding Biden. At one point, Lutsenko suggests he won’t make any helpful public statements unless “madam” is removed.
Nearly a month later, Yovanovitch was removed at Giuliani’s urging, and Lutsenko later made a statement that there had been no evidence of wrongdoing under Ukrainian law by Hunter or Joe Biden.
Also in the documents were assertions to Parnas from Robert Hyde that he had Yovanovitch under physical and electronic surveillance. Hyde said a “private security” team near the embassy was monitoring her movements.
“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” he said in one note. “Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money . . . what I was told.”
Hyde, Giuliani, and the White House have declined comment.
In a statement, Joseph A. Bondy, a lawyer for Parnas, said, “There is no evidence that Mr. Parnas participated, agreed, paid money or took any other steps in furtherance of Mr. Hyde’s proposals.”
This was from the Washington Post.
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