Lev Parnas: William Barr ‘basically on the team’ will put pressure on Ukraine

  • Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian associate of President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC that Attorney General William Barr was well aware of Trump’s pressure campaign in Ukraine.
  • Trump withheld almost $ 400 million in military aid and a White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky while trying to arm Zelensky to publicly commit to investigations that would personally benefit Trump.
  • Parnas told Maddow that Barr was “basically on the team” in relation to Trump’s actions in Ukraine.
  • He also said that Barr “absolutely” knew about Trump’s efforts to force the Zelensky administration to publicly commit to investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for false allegations of corruption.
  • “Mr. Barr had to have known everything,” Parnas told Maddow.
  • The Department of Justice has called Parnas’s account “100% false.”
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian associate of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, alleged in an exclusive interview with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC on Wednesday that Attorney General William Barr was aware of President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign in Ukraine.

Trump repeatedly tried to arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his deputies to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for unfounded allegations of corruption.

Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate a false conspiracy theory that would suggest that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Lev Parnas.

Associated Press / Mark Lennihan


In his interview with Maddow, Parnas said that Barr was “basically on the team” in relation to Trump’s actions in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian oligarch connected to Russia offered a quid pro quo involving Mueller and the Department of Justice

Specifically, Parnas involved Barr in what he said was an agreement he made with Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch linked to the Kremlin, to get the Justice Department to drop charges of fraud and bribery against Firtash in exchange for information to discredit the former special advisor Robert Mueller. Russian interference investigation in the 2016 US elections.

Firtash has been charged with multiple charges of fraud and bribery. He is accused of being connected to the Russian mafia and is currently in Vienna, Austria, fighting extradition to the United States.

firtash

Dmytro Firtash, one of the most influential oligarchs, billionaires and industrialists in Ukraine, gestures during a Reuters interview in Vienna, Austria, on December 2, 2015.

Reuters / Leonhard Foeger


Parnas told Maddow that he was told that Firtash’s team had information against Andrew Weissman, one of the prosecutors who worked for Mueller, that could damage Russia’s investigation.

Parnas said he learned that information during a meeting at the Trump Tower with Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, two lawyers closely related to the president, as well as John Solomon, a right-wing columnist at The Hill who has published several stories that promote unfounded conspiracy theories. about Ukraine and Russia.

Specifically, Parnas said Solomon told him that Weissman was doing “illegal things” and that he had engaged in a “scandalous” interaction with Firtash that “Mueller’s investigation” would explode.

Parnas also told Maddow that he and Solomon transmitted to the Firtash team that they believed “he was being prosecuted for no reason” and that “he could basically fix it,” which meant that his extradition could be stopped.

Then, Parnas told Maddow that he got Toensing and diGenova to represent Firtash as part of their legal team. Politician reported that the two lawyers also represent Solomon.

Parnas added that he was instructed to negotiate a payment of $ 1 million for Toensing and diGenova, who are married, in addition to $ 100,000 per month in expenses.

Parnas obtained $ 200,000 as part of the agreement.

William Barr

Attorney General William Barr

AP Photo / Sait Serkan Gurbuz


‘Attorney General Barr was basically on the team’

Barr, on the other hand, rejected the request of Toensing and diGenova to intervene in the case against Firtash.

However, Parnas told Maddow that the attorney general was “involved” in talks with Giuliani and diGenova and that Barr “absolutely” knew about Trump’s efforts to force the Zelensky administration to publicly commit to investigating the Bidens.

“Mr. Barr had to have known everything,” Parnas told Maddow. “Victoria, Joe, they were all best friends. Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman told Maddow that Parnas’s account is “100% false.”

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