As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the Democratic impeachment managers this morning, new “explosive” evidence dropped last night in yet another attempt by Democrats to convince the public that their impeachment push isn’t a partisan circus. It’s also meant to add pressure on Senate Republicans to allow witnesses. Everyone has heard enough about Trump, Russia, and collusion. It’s over. Done. The only areas still believing this myth are portions of the country where the most deranged anti-Trump voters reside. No one cares, especially in the swing states. But let’s give this new evidence a look. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee and part of the impeachment team passed on some note from an associate of Rudy Giuliani dealing with the Trump-Ukraine allegation that started the Democrats’ impeachment push. To recap, in July, Trump supposedly threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless they investigated Hunter Biden’s board position at Burisma, an energy company (via Axios):
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.
NEW: Today's documents make clear that Lev Parnas' work for Dmytro Firtash went beyond translation services.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) January 14, 2020
Here's a copy of his notes about a legal plan for the indicted Ukrainian oligarch (with ties to Russian Organized Crime) to get a deal while under indictment: pic.twitter.com/Ft7RKgEiD2
NEW: Congress has released a letter they say came from Lev Parnas' seized documents.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) January 14, 2020
The letter, signed by Giuliani and on his letterhead, requests a meeting with Ukraine's Zelensky in May 2019. The request is made with President Trump's "knowledge and consent," Giuliani says.
Yeah, Lev Parnas is the associate who is forking over new stuff, and as Axios noted, he’s facing criminal charges. The Federalist’s Sean Davis aptly noted that this dude is angling to avoid prison, pointing to some undated note where it says to get the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an anti-corruption probe against Biden.
“An undated note from a guy indicted on multiple federal charges of fraud and conspiracy who's already fabricated evidence in a desperate attempt to get an immunity deal from Schiff and Pelosi so he can avoid prison? That's the new smoking gun?,” tweeted Davis.
An undated note from a guy indicted on multiple federal charges of fraud and conspiracy who's already fabricated evidence in a desperate attempt to get an immunity deal from Schiff and Pelosi so he can avoid prison? That's the new smoking gun? LOL. https://t.co/xnnEsZUqo1— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 14, 2020
Lev Parnas' attorney tried and failed to get an immunity-for-testimony deal from the House during its laughable impeachment "investigation," so he's trying the same stunt with the Senate now that its trial is set to begin. https://t.co/X7Ia3nJcw1— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 15, 2020
Yeah, we’ve all seen enough here, folks. Bombshell after bombshell turned out to be nothing and this situation is no different. Trump will remain president and this impeachment push will die in the Republican Senate. Deal with it.
Here's a recap of Parans' legal issues (via NBC News):
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani facing charges of violating campaign finance laws, will be allowed to remain free on bail despite arguments from prosecutors on Tuesday that he concealed assets, including $1 million from a Russian oligarch with ties to President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Parnas was untruthful when he told Justice Department officials that he and his wife had about $450,000 in total assets and income. Instead, they said, Parnas had more than three times that amount — including a $1 million payment from a Russian bank account this past September — a month before his arrest.
U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken said Parnas can remain out on bail and did not believe he was being intentionally untruthful.