A Can Of Worms

The metaphor is that it takes some doing to get those wriggly creepy crawlies back in it. If I was looking for something punny I might reference the Diet of Worms (it’s a Cathedral in Germany not noom, get over it) which was a conference held to form a response to Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation.

Anyway, Part One of the Lev Parnas interview dropped last night. Want to see it?

Well, that’s 20 minutes anyway. MSNBC is once again making things difficult so I may revisit if I find a better and more stable source.

Not that I care what Joe and Mika think about anything, but this is what it is.

Here are 7 explosive claims from Lev Parnas’ interview with Rachel Maddow blowing up the Ukraine scandal
by Cody Fenwick, Alternet
January 16, 2020

  1. “President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” Parnas said. “He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”

    Trump has claimed that he doesn’t know who Parnas or his associate, Igor Fruman, are, despite appearing in multiple pictures with him. There was already good reason to assume this was false, but Parnas has not directly rebutted the dubious claim on the record.

  2. “It was not about corruption,” Parnas said of the Ukraine scheme. “It was all about Burisma, all about Biden, about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”

    This claim completely undercuts the Republicans’ key defenses of the president against impeachment. They say he was legitimately pursuing an anti-corruption policy in Ukraine by asking for investigations of his political enemies. That was hard to believe on its own, but now Parnas is flatly contradicting it.

  3. Parnas said it was clear to the Ukrainians he was acting as Trump’s emissary.

    “Did anybody in the U.S. government or Mr. Giuliani actually convey to officials in Ukraine that you were there as a representative of President Trump?” Maddow asked.

    “Yes,” said Parnas. “Absolutely. Absolutely. Everyone.”

    Guiliani told Maddow that this “never” happened and called Parnas a “sad situation.”

  4. He said he made explicit to Ukrainian officials that Trump’s support and financial support — not just military aid — was dependent on an announcement of the investigations the president wanted.

    “It wasn’t just military aid,” Parnas said. “It was all aid. Basically their relationships would be sour. That we would stop giving them any kind of aid.”

  5. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Ukraine was canceled explicitly to induce the country to announce the investigations, Parnas said.

    Parnas said that the cancellation of Pence’s trip confirmed to the Ukrainians that he was a legitimate representative of the president. He also said that Pence was “in the loop” about the reason the trip was canceled, but he didn’t explicit say how he knew this. He just indicated the top players were all aware of the plot.

    Pence’s later trip to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was arranged to get the country to announce the investigations Trump wanted, Parnas said. However, Pence has denied trying to get Zelensky to conduct the investigations.

  6. Attorney General Bill Barr was “on the team.”

    Barr has also tried to distance himself entirely from the Ukraine scandal. But Parnas claimed that “Barr had to know about everything” regarding the plan to push Ukraine to investigate the Biden and the 2016 presidential election. He acknowledged, though, that he didn’t speak to Barr directly.

    Maddow pointed out that, in his infamous July 25 phone call with Zelensky, Trump specifically brought up Barr as being involved. Parnas said that didn’t surprise him, because Barr was “on the team.” The Justice Department, responding to Maddow’s request for comment on the allegations, said simply: “100 percent false.”

  7. Parnas also fingered Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in the scheme, the ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee that investigated the Ukraine matter.

    Parnas said he was introduced to, and worked through, Nunes aide Derek Harvey, but he was working on Nunes’ behalf.

    “Does it strike you as unusual or inappropriate that Devin Nunes would be one of the lead investigators?” Maddow asked.

    “I was in shock when I was watching the hearings and when I saw Devin Nunes sitting up there,” Parnas said. “Because they were involved in getting all this stuff on Biden.”

Yeah, the blockbuster is that Lev Parnas implicates Pence, Nunes, and Barr up to their eyeballs and he has the receipts and they don’t have even spurious claims of immunity.

It’s pardoning time.