Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said in two separate interviews that Trump was in on the entire scheme to get Ukraine’s government to announce that they were investigating former Vice President Joe Biden.
“President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. 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,” Parnas told MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show.
Along with giving the interviews, Parnas has given House impeachment investigators a new cache of documents that also seem to contradict the president’s stated goals of wanting Ukraine to investigate overall corruption. Parnas told Maddow that giving interviews and information was the only way he could feel safe, because as long as he was the only one who knew this information, he felt his safety was in danger.
Parnas said he only gained access to Ukrainian officials because Giuliani made it known that Parnas was his associate, and that Giuliani spoke for the president.
“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,” Parnas said. “And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work.”
Parnas also said that Vice President Mike Pence canceling his trip to attend Zelensky’s inauguration had everything to do with Zelensky not agreeing to investigate the Bidens. “Oh, I know 100 percent. It was 100 percent,” Parnas said.
According to Parnas, Attorney General William Barr was also aware of the scheme and of Parnas’ involvement. When asked if Giuliani was ever in contact with Barr about the investigations into Joe Biden, Parnas said, “Oh, absolutely. Mr. Barr had to have known everything.”
After the interview had aired but before the program ended, Giuliani told MSNBC of Parnas, “All I can say is the truth. He’s a very sad situation.”