US House Democrats on Friday released additional information from Ukrainian businessman and a Trump associate, Lev Parnas, as they prepare to submit evidence for the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
New text messages were compiled and sent over to the House Judiciary Committee.
The messages showed Mr. Parnas in contact with Derek Harvey, a staffer for House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes, and reaching out to former Trump lawyer John Dowd.
There are also new messages, and audio, between Mr. Parnas and Republican congressional candidate Robert F. Hyde, where they discussed the location of former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while she was still at her post, Washington Times reported.
The newly released documents also contained a group of photographs of Mr. Parnas’ meeting with Mr. Trump, and members of the president’s inner circle, including his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Mr. Parnas’ recent interviews with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and CNN’s Anderson Cooper are also attached.
According to a Democratic aide, Democrats will publicly release their trial brief Saturday at 5 p.m.
The White House will need to file theirs by Monday at noon, allowing Democrats 24 hours to respond before opening arguments begin.
Lev Parnas has become an ace the Democrats are using to get Trump convicted in the Senate for abuse of office and obstruction of justice over withholding Ukrainian aid as he sought a quid pro quo for an investigation of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden in the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma.
Trump’s initial denial of not knowing Parnas has blown up on his face.
In a statement on Thursday, Trump said: “I don’t know Parnas, other than I guess I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people. I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t know where he comes from, know nothing about him. … I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him.”
But same day, the lawyer to Parnas, Jospeh Bondy, brought posted a video taken at Mar-a-Lago in December 2016, where Trump is clearly talking with Parnas, who is standing next to him and also Roman Nasirov, a former Ukrainian official charged with embezzlement.
The Washington Post used that video in a jaunty roundup of Parnas posing, often on multiple occasions, next to Trump and other Republicans who claimed not to know him.
Calling Parnas a “Giuliani associate” is “way too limited — he is a full-fledged member of Trump Co,” Chris Cuomo said on CNN Thursday night. As he ran through the details, he showed photo after photo of Parnas and Trump or members of his family and inner circle.
“There are so many that I had to leave pictures out,” Cuomo said.