After weeks of delay and months of public and private hearings in the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finally sent the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate this week so a trial could begin. But that doesn’t mean House Dems have stopped making demands to hear from additional witnesses — and they just added a new one to their list.
According to the New York Daily News, Democrats now want to hear from Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen and associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas is said to have assisted Giuliani in his efforts to uncover corruption in Ukraine — but according to The Federalist’s Sean Davis, Dems’ new “star witness” may not be everything he’s cracked up to be.
Dems’ new star witness
According to Axios, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to his counterpart in the House Judiciary panel, Jerry Nadler (D-NY), on Tuesday “notifying him of two flash drives containing additional evidence related to the impeachment inquiry, which was obtained from indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.”
And on Tuesday, NBC correspondent Tom Winter tweeted about that material, according to Townhall. Winter reported that the “documents make clear that Lev Parnas’ work for Dmytro Firtash went beyond translation services.”
Winter included a picture of what is purported to be notes made by Parnas on Ritz–Carlton hotel stationery. Winter said the notes comprise “a legal plan for the indicted Ukrainian oligarch (with ties to Russian Organized Crime) to get a deal while under indictment.”
NEW: Today’s documents make clear that Lev Parnas’ work for Dmytro Firtash went beyond translation services.
Here’s a copy of his notes about a legal plan for the indicted Ukrainian oligarch (with ties to Russian Organized Crime) to get a deal while under indictment: pic.twitter.com/Ft7RKgEiD2
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) January 14, 2020
In another tweet, Winter wrote that “Congress has released a letter they say came from Lev Parnas’ seized documents.”
“The letter, signed by Giuliani and on his letterhead, requests a meeting with Ukraine’s [President Volodymyr] Zelensky in May 2019,” the NBC reporter added. “The request is made with President Trump’s ‘knowledge and consent,’ Giuliani says.”
“It’s embarrassing and sad”
Still, The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis wasn’t impressed. “An undated note from a guy indicted on multiple federal charges of fraud and conspiracy who’s already fabricated evidence in a desperate attempt to get an immunity deal from Schiff and Pelosi so he can avoid prison? That’s the new smoking gun?” Davis asked in a tweet on Tuesday.
He went on: “Lev Parnas’ attorney tried and failed to get an immunity-for-testimony deal from the House during its laughable impeachment ‘investigation,’ so he’s trying the same stunt with the Senate now that its trial is set to begin.”
NBC News confirmed in a report Friday that Parnas is “facing charges of violating campaign finance laws, [but] will be allowed to remain free on bail despite arguments from prosecutors on Tuesday that he concealed assets, including $1 million from a Russian oligarch with ties to President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.”
And this is far from Parnas’ first legal controversy. Citing financial documents, NPR reported in October that “Parnas was dogged by financial debts and court judgments against him. In one instance, he owed a couple in South Florida $500,000 for a film that never got made,” the outlet noted.
With these notes on Parnas’ record, former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says it’s telling that the Dems have chosen him as their “star witness.”
“Everything they are hanging their hat on is from a guy who is currently under federal indictment and — get this, Martha — on charges of making false statements and falsifying documents,” Sanders told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Thursday. “I think it’s embarrassing and sad.”