Jan 14, 2020

Schiff sends House Judiciary Committee records from Lev Parnas

Lev Parnas. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) 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.

Why it matters: As Axios' Alayna Treene reported earlier today, a public release of some or all of these materials could give Democrats new ammunition to argue that the White House must turn over more information and allow new testimony from witnesses.

The big picture: The Soviet-born Parnas helped connect Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian officials while the pair were engaged in a campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate President Trump's political opponents.

  • The records transmitted by Schiff include communications between Parnas and Giuliani, as well as text messages in Russian that show Parnas was in contact with key Ukrainian figures caught up in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, such as former prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko.
  • Lutsenko and Shokin helped spread the unsubstantiated allegations that former Vice President Joe Biden attempted to interfere in a Ukrainian investigation into the gas company Burisma, where his son Hunter sat on the board of directors.

Read the annotated evidence.

Read the attachments.

Read the letter from Schiff.

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Lev Parnas, a close Rudy Giuliani associate and central figure in the pressure campaign on Ukraine, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night: "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."

Why it matters: If true, the claim presents detailed connective tissue between Parnas' activities in Ukraine and Trump.

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Yovanovitch urges Ukraine probe after Parnas phone records release

Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, appears before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A lawyer for former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told MSNBC Tuesday an investigation should be launched into whether she was monitored in Kyiv after newly released records shed new light on events leading up to her ouster.

Driving the news: House Democrats released a trove of documents earlier Tuesday, including phone records of Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which appear to indicate he discussed surveilling Yovanovitch in March 2019.

Go deeperArrowJan 15, 2020