- Rudy Giuliani’s associate, Lev Parnas, told Rachel Maddow of MSNBC on Wednesday that former national security adviser John Bolton knows “100%” about the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Ukraine.
- “It has a lot to say,” Parnas told Maddow.
- Democrats in both the House and the Senate want Bolton to testify in political trial proceedings.
- Bolton issued a statement on January 6 saying he was “prepared to testify” if the Senate cited him during the political trial.
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Rudy Giuliani’s associate, Lev Parnas, said Wednesday that former national security adviser John Bolton is a “key witness” to President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
In an exclusive interview with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC on Wednesday, Parnas discussed her role in Trump’s apparent campaign of pressure against Ukraine, which is at the center of Trump’s accusation.
Parnas and Trump’s personal lawyer, Giuliani, played an important role in Trump’s alleged efforts to incite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly engage in investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
Parnas told Maddow that Bolton is a “key witness” of the events that took place in Ukraine.
“It has a lot to say,” Parnas said. “He is a key witness to his conversation with Zelensky and why he left or was fired.”
Parnas also claimed that Bolton was “aware” of Trump’s plans.
“But do you think he knows what the administration was pushing for Ukraine?” Maddow asked.
“Bolton? 100%. He knows what happened there,” he replied.
Parnas pleaded not guilty to charges of campaign finance violations last year.
House Democrats have asked Bolton to testify in the political trial investigation and now Senate Democrats are urging him to testify during the proceedings. Bolton did not appear for a closed-door deposition in November, but on January 6 he issued a statement saying he was “prepared to testify” if the Senate cited him.
After a New York Times report said that Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were in a meeting with Trump begging him to send military aid to Ukraine, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer He said that if Bolton and other senior officials testify to being a “game changer.”
“This new story shows the four witnesses that the Senate Democrats have requested: Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Michael Duffey and Robert Blair, were intimately involved and had direct knowledge of President Trump’s decision to cut aid to benefit,” Schumer added. He said in a statement.
But Trump has said he would try to block Bolton’s testimony of indictment. In an interview with Fox News, Trump said he “had no problems” with Bolton testifying, but added that he was concerned about the impact that such testimony would have on “future presidents” and national security issues.
“There are things that cannot be done from the point of view of executive privilege,” he said. “Especially, a national security advisor … You can’t make me explain all your national security statements regarding Russia, China and North Korea, everything. We just can’t do that.”
On Wednesday, the House voted to transmit the articles of political judgment to the Senate. The trial is expected to begin next week; It is not clear whether witnesses will be called.
Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.