Reportedly disappointed in President Donald Trump's distancing himself from their client, attorneys for Lev Parnas say he might be willing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, according to The Washington Post.
Parnas, who was a client of attorney Rudy Giuliani, was indicted on charges of campaign finance violations related to a pro-Trump super PAC. It is unclear if Democrats will take a deal as Parnas faces charges in New York, per the Post.
"There isn't anything that Parnas did in the Ukraine relative to the Bidens or the 2016 election that he wasn't asked to do by Giuliani, who was acting on the direction of the president," Parnas' attorney Edward MacMahon Jr. told the Post.
Not only that, sources say Parnas can testify Trump is not being truthful about their past dealings related to the Ukraine, with Parnas willing to testify he had discussed it directly with the president at an April 2018 donor dinner, according to the report.
"It's just not true that he had no idea who these guys were," the source told the Post. "He knew Lev particularly."
Parnas and Igor Fruman had met with then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the request of Giuliani on orders from the president, MacMahon told the Post. The meeting was to present a proposal Poroshenko would get a state visit if he vowed to announce investigations into Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine and potential 2016 election meddling, according to the report.
New York prosecutors allege Parnas and Fruman gave campaign contributions to the pro-Trump super PAC "to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working."
The reported dinner took place in the exclusive Trump Townhouse suite at Trump's Washington hotel, and featured President Trump, son Donald Trump Jr., and others, according to the Post.
It was there Parnas and Fruman told President Trump the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was not on board with the administration's foreign policy, which led Trump to say the career diplomat, an Obama holdover, should be fired, sources told the paper.
President Trump has issued public denials of knowing Parnas or Fruman.
"Now it's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody," Trump told reporters last month: "I don’t know what they do, but, I don't know, maybe they were clients of Rudy."
Trump is releasing a transcript of his first call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy this week. It is possible the two leaders might have discussed Yovanovitch's removal then – as was foreshadowed from the first rough transcript, per the report.
"It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%," Trump told Zelenskiy on the already released transcript of what was their second call.
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