Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, a central figure in the White House’s alleged Ukraine pressure campaign, said President Trump “knew exactly what was going on” despite his repeated denials of wrongdoing.
“He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the President,” Parnas told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tonight. “I have no intent, I have no reason, to speak to any of these officials.”
Parnas asserted he was the one “on the ground” doing Trump and Giuliani’s work, “and that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep.”
“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,” he said.
Some more context: The comments, which represent Parnas’ most forceful implication of Trump yet, come against the backdrop of an approaching Senate impeachment trial after the House on Wednesday formally presented two articles of impeachment to the chamber.
Democrats allege Trump abused his office by directing a pressure campaign for Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for $400 million in US security aid and a White House meeting. Trump, Democrats say, then stonewalled congressional investigators to cover up the misconduct.