Democrats release new documents on eve of impeachment trial

Posted Wednesday, 15 January 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

WASHINGTON — House Democrats have released a trove of documents they obtained from Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, including a handwritten note that mentions asking Ukraine's president to investigate “the Biden case.” The documents show Parnas communicating with Giuliani and another attorney about the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Parnas received messages from a man named Robert F. Hyde who appeared to be describing detailed surveillance of Yovanovitch while she was in Ukraine. Democrats released the files Tuesday as they prepared to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for Trump's trial. The documents add new context to their charges that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats as he withheld military aid to the country. Parnas was in frequent communication with Giuliani and with Ukrainian officials as he worked as an intermediary, the messages show. Parnas appeared to be pushing unsubstantiated allegations that Democrat Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, were somehow engaged in corruption in Ukraine. Among the documents is a screenshot of a previously undisclosed letter from Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy dated May 10, 2019, which was before Zelenskiy took office. In the letter, Giuliani announces himself as Trump’s personal lawyer and requests a meeting with Zelenskiy “as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.” Also among the documents is a handwritten note on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that says “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will be Investigated." Trump asked Zelenskiy in a July call to investigate his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company based in Ukraine. In a letter outlining the evidence, Democrats said that Parnas' attorney confirmed that Parnas wrote the notes. The documents — including phone records, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas — were sent to the House Judiciary Committee by three other House committees “to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the Articles of Impeachment,” according to a statement. Some of the materials were made public while others were marked as sensitive. Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens who emigrated from the former Soviet bloc, were indicted last year on charges of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records. Prosecutors allege they made outsize campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving millions of dollars originating from Russia. Several of the documents show Parnas communicating with Giuliani and another attorney, Victoria Toensing, about the removal of Yovanovitch. Her removal, pushed by Trump, was at the center of the Democrats’ inquiry. Yovanovitch testified in the House impeachment hearings that she was the victim of a “smear campaign.” Trump on a July 25 call had promised Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.” Roughly two months earlier, she had been recalled from her diplomatic post. On April 23, the day before Yovanovitch was directed to return to the United States, Giuliani texted Parnas, "He fired her again." Parnas texted back, "I pray it happens this time I'll call you tomorrow my brother." Parnas also received messages from Hyde, who referred to Yovanovitch as a "bitch.” Hyde is now running for a U.S. House seat in Connecticut. After texting about the ambassador, Hyde gave Parnas location updates over the course of a week. In one text, Hyde wrote: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.” He said she was under heavy security and “we have a person inside.” Hyde at one point texted Parnas that ''they are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” and “guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money ... is what I was told.” Parnas texted back: “lol.” Hyde did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lawrence Robbins, an attorney for Yovanovitch, declined to comment on the text messages Tuesday evening. The text messages show that Parnas consulted Giuliani in Jan. 2019 after the U.S. denied issuing a visa for former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Giuliani replied: "I can revive it." In a follow-up conversation the following day, Giuliani told Parnas: “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Giuliani then predicted "he will get one" before giving Parnas the phone number for Jay Sekulow, the leader of the president's personal legal team. Sekulow is expected to be part of Trump's legal team during the impeachment trial. The release of documents comes after a federal judge earlier this month said that Parnas could provide materials to Congress as part of the impeachment proceedings. Democrats voted in December to impeach Trump for abuse of power and for obstruction of Congress.

Other articles published by Las Vegas Sun

Test your knowledge of Memorial Day Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Observed annually on the last Monday in May, Memorial day is set aside to honor the men and women who have died in service to our country. While it didn’t become an official national holiday until 1971, its origins begin with the Civil War. The quiz...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The coronavirus pandemic may have wiped out college graduation season, but the Las Vegas Valley’s Class of 2020 shines brightly even though it didn’t get its well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Today, we celebrate this year’s graduates from UNLV,...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

In some professions, helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus means working from home or keeping a respectful and safe distance from coworkers at the office. But when your office might be a burning building, social distancing becomes more...

The Notes: Philanthropy, May 25, 2020 Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Christensen Development’s Center Pointe Plaza and Trails Village Center shopping centers partnered with 15 tenants to purchase over $1,000 worth of food from each small business to donate to Summerlin Hospital,...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

During uncertain economic times, the unpredictable act of investing can be made even more unpredictable, local experts say. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic crisis in the United States, money decisions for average investors have certainly...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

If Nevada amateur baseball legends Bryce Harper or Kris Bryant were eligible for this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, not much would have changed for the sure-thing prospects. They would sign a pro contract, collect a...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. meant big crowds at beaches and warnings from authorities Sunday about people disregarding the coronavirus social-distancing rules and risking a...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

NEW YORK — New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team's roster this year. He just didn't think they'd have to do it so quickly and without seeing...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

ATLANTA — One was a 94-year-old veteran of World War II who was the first of his 11 brothers to enlist in the military. One was a Vietnam veteran who lost his leg overseas and was always touched when people thanked him for his service. Another was...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Eddie Sutton waited so long to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He couldn't hang on long enough to make it to the ceremony. The man who led three teams to the Final Four and was the first coach to take four schools to the...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Immediately after giving his valedictorian speech, high school senior Philip Root, still clad in his cap and gown, climbed into a borrowed race car and drove up to the finish line at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With the yellow tassel of his graduation...

Ailes’ influence is terrifying Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

I just finished re-watching Showtime’s important documentary “The loudest voice in the room,” about the jaded career of Fox News creator Roger Ailes. There are millions of responsible conservatives who are devotees of this cable channel. When they...

GOP, Trump are indefensible Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The May 17 editorial, “An accommodating GOP, Trump are transforming America into a dictatorship,” was outstanding. You laid out the facts in such a way that they are both concise and undeniable. I encourage you to publish any letters that attempt to...

Trump sending us all into war Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

We do not have an Ahab obsessed with a white whale. We have a white whale obsessed with its ego and re-election. President Donald Trump says we should be his warriors. We should work, shop, mingle, etc., in crowded spaces. Will there be more coronavirus...

Ayatollah leading Iran back to the past Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Enough with the absurdities of Donald Trump and his mangling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enough of all this talk about the tens of thousands of lives that researchers have concluded Trump’s dithering, narcissism, incompetence and intellectual vacuousness ...