House Democrats released another batch of documents from indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas on Friday, including messages that showed Parnas was in contact with a staffer for House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif.
The documents also included photos of Parnas with Trump and Giuliani in various settings, as well as additional messages between Parnas and Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde, in which the two discussed the whereabouts of then-U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Additionally, an unidentified individual with a Belgian country code appears to describe Yovanovitch’s movements.
“My contacts are checking,” the person writes to Hyde in one message. “I will give you the address next week”.
“Awesome,” Hyde replied.
“She has been there since Thursday never left the embassy,” reads another text.
Still another series of text messages also discussed the former ambassador.
“Nothing has changed she is still not moving they check today again,” the person tells Hyde. “It’s confirmed we have a person inside.” The next message reads: “Hey broski tell me what we are doing what’s the next step”.
YOVANOVITCH CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION AFTER DOCUMENTS SHOW SHE MAY HAVE BEEN SURVEILLED IN UKRAINE
Hyde has denied surveilling Yovanovitch, whose ouster is central to the impeachment inquiry into Trump, who faces a charge that he abused his presidential power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden, using military aid to the country as leverage. Trump says the inquiry is a “hoax.”
At the time, Trump’s allies were trying to have Yovanovitch, who was seen as a roadblock to a Biden investigation, removed from her post. She was recalled in late May.
Messages between Parnas and Harvey were also included in the files, including one from March of this year in which Harvey asked Parnas for assistance in getting information on U.S. aid to Ukraine.
The pair arranged meetings at the Trump International Hotel, which included at least one meeting in May 2019 with Giuliani and John Solomon, a former columnist for The Hill.
Nunes has denied involvement in the Ukraine scandal, though he has acknowledged speaking with Parnas.
The document dump also included recent interviews Parnas gave to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. In his interview with Maddow Wednesday, a day after he provided a trove of documents and text messages to House investigators, Parnas said Trump contemplated cutting all forms of financial assistance to Ukraine — including much needed military aid — in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden.
Parnas said Giuliani instructed him to deliver a “harsh” message to Ukraine that “all aid” to the country would be halted unless “there was an announcement of the Biden investigation,” among other demands. He claimed Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General William Barr were aware of efforts by him and Giuliani to have Ukraine open the investigation for Trump’s political benefit. All have denied the claims.
Parnas also claimed Hyde wasn’t being serious when he claimed in some of those communications to know Yovanovitch’s whereabouts in Kiev.
“I don’t believe it was true, I think he was either drunk or was trying to make himself bigger than he was,” Parnas told Rachel Maddow. “I didn’t take him seriously. I didn’t even respond to him most of the time. If I did, it was something like ‘LOL’ or ‘Okay’ or ‘Great’ or something like that.”
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Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, were indicted last year on campaign finance violence violations. Nonetheless, Democrats say his revelation enhance their case for impeachment against Trump.
House Democrats have until 5 p.m. ET Saturday to submit their brief laying out the evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial. The White House brief is due by noon on Monday. House Democrats will then have 24 hours to respond to the White House brief, should they choose to do so.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.