The scandal burned far longer than eight days and nights.
A miracle. https://t.co/CxqSbhATWF
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 16, 2019
… At least, if you’re a member of the Trump Crime Cartel:
Among the many guests who had their pictures taken with President Donald Trump at the White House’s annual Hanukkah party last year were two Soviet-born businessmen from Florida, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
In the picture, which Parnas posted on social media, he and Fruman are seen smiling alongside Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer.
At one point during the party that night, Parnas and Fruman slipped out of a large reception room packed with hundreds of Trump donors to have a private meeting with the President and Giuliani, according to two acquaintances in whom Parnas confided right after the meeting…
Eventually, according to what Parnas told his confidants, the topic turned to Ukraine that night. According to those two confidants, Parnas said that “the big guy,” as he sometimes referred to the President in conversation, talked about tasking him and Fruman with what Parnas described as “a secret mission” to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter…
To Parnas, the chain of command was clear: Giuliani would issue the President’s directives while Parnas, who speaks fluent Russian, would be an on-the-ground investigator alongside Fruman, who has numerous business contacts in Ukraine.
“Parnas viewed the assignment as a great crusade,” says one of the people in whom Parnas confided. “He believed he was doing the right thing for Trump.”
The White House did not respond to repeated requests for comment to a series of questions regarding the meeting and Trump’s relationship with Parnas and Fruman…
Ken McCallion, a former federal prosecutor with numerous high-level clients in Ukraine, including former and current government officials, told CNN that he’s heard a similar story about the Hanukkah party encounter. Parnas told some of McCallion’s clients and contacts in Ukraine about the encounter. “Parnas told everyone in Ukraine about the White House meeting. He was adamant he was ‘their guy’ — that they chose him to be their ambassador in Ukraine,” McCallion said.
And in February this year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Parnas and Fruman met with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and then Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. During that meeting, they extended Poroshenko an invitation for a State dinner at the White House, if he would commit to publicly opening investigations in Ukraine.
The December meeting at the White House is not the first report of Parnas and the President discussing Ukraine. The Washington Post has reported that in April 2018 at a small fundraising dinner in a suite at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, Parnas told Trump that the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was unfriendly to him and his interests. Trump, according to the Post report, which cited people familiar with Parnas’ account of the event, suggested that Yovanovitch should be fired.
A year later in May 2019, Yovanovitch was recalled from her post…
Sending underlings to do crimes is routine dishonesty; what makes it Trumpian is choosing Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman as the bagmen.
— SecretMissionHat (@Popehat) November 16, 2019
Of course, because this is Donald Trump, he’s insisting he doesn’t even remember shaking this Parnasassanian dude’s hand, whoever the guy thinks he is — one of errand boy Giuliani’s skeevy little chums, perhaps. With equally predictable blowback (from Parnas, if not yet Rudy):
… However he felt back then, those two sources say Parnas now feels quite differently about Trump. The day after Parnas and Fruman were arrested on October 9 and charged with criminal campaign finance violations, Trump publicly denied ever knowing them, a move that was enormously upsetting to Parnas, according to three sources close to him.
“I don’t know those gentlemen,” Trump told reporters from the South Lawn of the White House on October 10. “Maybe they were clients of Rudy. You’d have to ask Rudy, I just don’t know.”
In the weeks since his arrest, Parnas has become disenchanted with Trump, these sources say. He’s even signaled that he’s willing to cooperate with the Congressional impeachment inquiry. Parnas’ lawyer Bondy said his client would comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents and testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry in a manner that would allow him to protect his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Prosecutors allege Parnas and Fruman illegally funded Republican politicians and campaigns with money from foreign nationals. Prosecutors also say the pair funneled $325,000 into Trump’s flagship super PAC, America First Action from an unknown source.
Both Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty and are currently out on bail and on house arrest in Florida awaiting trial…
Last December, the day before the Hannukah meeting at the White House, Giuliani brought Parnas as his guest to the funeral of former president George H.W. Bush.
Now, Giuliani and Parnas snipe at each other through their lawyers…
How can the president be an anti-Semite if he was plotting an international criminal conspiracy at a Hanukkah party?! https://t.co/bMgKFNLIXP
— Daily Trix (@DailyTrix) November 16, 2019
Follow the money…
Pretty sure Trump’s Hanukkah mtg w Lev, Igor, & Rudy at the White House was a campaign finance violation.
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) November 16, 2019