- Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, has provided the House Intelligence Committee with secret recordings of Trump and Giuliani, ABC News reported Sunday.
- Giuliani acted as an unofficial lobbyist for the president in Ukraine, and he played a central role in seeking an investigation into the 2020 Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden. Trump’s desire for such an investigation is a major part of the impeachment inquiry into him.
- Parnas, who was arrested in October on suspicion of violating election-finance laws, helped Giuliani with the investigation, and he reportedly supplied the recordings to the committee in response to a subpoena.
- Parnas denies the charges against him.
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Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, has handed secret recordings and photographs to investigators on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating whether President Donald Trump abused his power in seeking to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Democrats.
According to ABC News, the material includes audio recordings, video recordings, and photographs of Trump and Giuliani together as well as documents in English and Ukrainian.
The committee started looking at the material last week, ABC said, adding that it was provided by Parnas in compliance with a subpoena issued to him in October.
It is unclear specifically what the recordings contain, and in a statement Parnas’ attorney Joseph A. Bondy would not comment on their content.
“Mr. Parnas has vociferously and publicly asserted his wish to comply with his previously issued subpoena and to provide the House Intelligence Committee with truthful and important information that is in furtherance of justice, not to obstruct it,” he said in a statement to ABC.
The House Intelligence Committee, the White House, and Giuliani’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests from Business Insider for comment.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, played a central role in seeking the political investigations that are at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry.
Trump is thought to have made Giuliani responsible for seeking announcements from Ukraine that it would investigate Joe Biden, a domestic political rival of Trump’s, as well as an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US presidential election.
Parnas, a Florida-based businessman, was said to be a key part of Giuliani’s investigation, helping the former New York mayor broker contacts with Ukrainian officials.
Parnas was arrested in October alongside another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, on charges of illegally channeling foreign money into GOP election campaigns, an investigation separate from the impeachment probe. Both men deny the charges.
According to the ABC report, some of the information sought by the House committee is in the hands of federal investigators in the Southern District of New York, which is investigating Giuliani’s ties with Parnas and Fruman.
Trump has sought to link the investigations into Biden and the 2016 election to larger concerns about Ukrainian corruption and not as something meant to benefit him. He has also denied that his withholding of nearly $400 million in Ukrainian military aid was meant to compel Ukraine to announce the investigations.
Multiple witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry, however, testified in recent weeks that a “quid pro quo” deal was being sought by Trump — any recordings of conversations on the matter between Trump and his key emissary in Ukraine will be of significant interest to investigators.