Parnas: I Delivered Threat Over Biden Investigation

Giuilani associate says Trump 'knew exactly what was going on'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2020 6:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Lev Parnas, the Rudy Giuliani associate indicted for campaign finance violations, dropped more than one bombshell in an MSNBC interview Wednesday night. The Florida businessman told Rachel Maddow that he pressured Ukraine's president to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden—and President Trump "knew exactly what was going on." "I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani, or the president," Parnas said. He said he told then-president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky that if no investigation of the Bidens was announced, no American officials would attend his inauguration and all American military aid would be cut off.

  • Pence ordered to stay away. The day after Parnas said he delivered the message to Zelensky, the State Department announced that Mike Pence would no longer be attending the inauguration, the AP reports. Parnas said Trump ordered Pence to stay away after Giuliani told the president that it would show Ukraine's new administration that the Biden request had to be taken seriously. Parnas said he was acting under the direction of Giuliani, whom he regularly heard briefing Trump over the phone.

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