Lev Parnas and his attorney, Joseph Bondy, joined Anderson Cooper last night to discuss the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani was actually in attendance — courtesy of Sen. Chuck Schumer — but unable to sit in the Senate gallery to watch the proceedings in person. Parnas' presence was significant, as he's a key figure in the pressure campaign Trump was exerting on the new Ukrainian government to get dirt on Joe Biden. He's been doing all he can, now to reveal what he knows about the players in the scheme.
On AC360, Parnas dropped the bomb that Sen. Lindsey Graham was aware of the pressure plot as early as 2018. He said Giuliani told him on a number of occasions that Graham was aware, like everyone else, and even involved in helping out Viktor Shokin (the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine) when his visa to come to the U.S. was denied.
COOPER: So you're saying Senator Graham, Senator Lindsey Graham, knew about you and Mr. Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine?
PARNAS: Absolutely. Just like I said. First of all, Senator Graham was involved even before I got involved with Mayor Giuliani, so he had to have been in the loop, and he had to have known what was going on, otherwise, you know, I was with Giuliani every day, I mean, that was happening.
COOPER: You firmly believe that Lindsey Graham knew that you and Giuliani, or at least that Giuliani, was taking this effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
PARNAS: One million percent. If Rudy not once, but on several occasions that he spoke to Lindsey Graham about the situation and that he was always aware. Again, I don't know how deeply involved, I didn't speak to Lindsey Graham, I don't have text messages with him, we didn't interact, so I can only speak for what Rudy told me.
Parnas and Bondy go on to say there are other recordings (not made by Parnas — he never recorded anyone) — including of Pete Sessions and Parnas — that might be made public. But most of what is significant has already been released.
Bondy expanded with details to Betsy Swan and Erin Banco of The Daily Beast:
Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Lev Parnas, an indicted Florida businessman involved in the U.S.-Ukraine saga, told The Daily Beast that Giuliani showed his client the letter and told him he delivered it to Sen. Graham (the letter misspelled the South Carolina Republican’s first name as “Lingsey”). Bondy said Giuliani also showed Parnas a second, similar letter addressed to Sigal Mandelker, who at the time was a top official at the Treasury Department.
The letters, which The Daily Beast reviewed, claim that an eclectic mix of Ukrainian political figures and businesspeople were part of an alleged “organized crime syndicate.” The letters claim that the individuals were “actively involved in the siphoning of funds appropriated by the American government for aid to Ukraine.” And they claim that the alleged crime syndicate used those funds to buy black-market military parts from a Russian company under U.S. sanctions. All the while, they say, Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general (Giuliani ally Yuriy Lutsenko) couldn’t fight the crime because then President Petro Poroshenko wouldn’t let him take the case to court.
In the meantime, we have Graham sitting on the jury in a trial of his boss, and he was in on the corrupt behavior for which his boss is on trial.
Everything is normal. Everything is fine.