Trump associate's 'to-do list' released ahead of impeachment trial

Clay Curtis
January 15, 2020

House Democrats released a trove of documents from an indicted businessman who helped Rudy Giuliani in his campaign to pressure Ukraine, including previously undisclosed handwritten notes and a letter Giuliani addressed to the Ukrainian president-elect requesting a meeting shortly before his inauguration. Democrats allege Trump wanted Yovanovitch removed because she was likely to oppose any investigation by Ukraine into the Bidens. He also posted several photos of Parnas with Trump, Giuliani, and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

The Associated Press reported Parnas and Fruman used their political contacts - they are photographed on multiple occasions with Giuliani - to try to score a natural gas deal involving Ukraine.

The documents - including phone records, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas - were sent to the House Judiciary Committee by three other House committees "to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the Articles of Impeachment", according to a statement.

A federal district judge granted Bondy's motion to modify a protective order and provide discovery information to the committee, which oversaw the impeachment inquiry which resulted in the House voting out two articles of impeachment against Trump.

Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens who emigrated from the former Soviet bloc, were indicted previous year on charges of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records. Prosecutors allege they made outsize campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving millions of dollars originating from Russian Federation.

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Breaching Burisma could yield communications from, to, or about Hunter Biden , who served as a director between 2014 and 2019. Trump is seeking reelection and Biden is a potential opponent out of a dozen Democrats seeking their party's nomination.

Another note, written on stationary from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna, includes instructions to get Zelenskiy to announce that the "Biden case will be investigated". Parnas and Fruman played a key role in helping Giuliani search for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine, which ultimately led to Trump's impeachment.

Democrats said the delay allowed new evidence to emerge through government records requests - and now, the material provided by Parnas.

Impeachment witnesses also cited Giuliani as being behind information meant to tarnish former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch - in what witnesses described as part of a successful smear campaign.

Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-born USA citizen, was indicted on campaign finance charges along with another associate in October at the height of the House impeachment inquiry.

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