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'A wild goose chase': Giuliani associate urges House GOP to abandon Biden probe

Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian businessman, said there has never been any evidence that the president or his son Hunter interfered with Ukraine's politics, "only conspiracy theories."
Lev Parnas on Capitol Hill in 2020.
Lev Parnas on Capitol Hill in 2020. Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian businessman who figured prominently in Rudy Giuliani's effort to dig up dirt on Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election, said Tuesday that a GOP-led House committee should end its probe into the Biden family.

In a 10-page letter obtained by NBC News, Parnas told House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., that there is "no evidence" that the president or his son Hunter interfered with Ukrainian politics, "and there never has been."

“With all due respect, Chairman Comer, the narrative you are seeking for this investigation has been proven false many times over, by a wide array of respected sources," Parnas wrote. "There is simply no merit to investigating this matter any further.”

Parnas offered to testify under oath or provide any information the committee needs, and he highlighted information that came to light during former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2019, alleging that Giuliani and Trump orchestrated a campaign ahead of the presidential election to "dig up dirt on the Bidens."

Reached for comment Tuesday, a spokesperson for Comer said his office had not yet seen the letter. In a statement, Comer blasted Democrats and the media, saying they were “ignoring independent facts” about the Biden family, their financial dealings and “allegations from IRS agents about the Department of Justice’s politicization of Biden investigation.”

“Bank records, the FBI’s Biden Bribery Record, and IRS whistleblowers have nothing to do with Rudy Giuliani. It’s past time for Democrats and their allies to stop covering for the Bidens and instead follow the facts,” Comer said.

Parnas said that from November 2018 to October 2019 he was a “key participant” in meetings or phone calls between Giuliani and various Ukrainian officials, often acting as a translator in efforts to pressure them to launch an investigation into the Biden family.

“Never, during any of my communications with Ukrainian officials or connections to Burisma, did any of them confirm or provide concrete facts linking the Bidens to illegal activities,” Parnas wrote.

"In fact," he added, Ukrainian officials and people linked to Burisma, a company in Ukraine, repeatedly asked him "why our team was so concerned with this idea.”

Parnas further alleged that Giuliani and some of his associates knew that the allegations they were pursuing were false.

A Giuliani spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

“There has never been any factual evidence, only conspiracy theories spread by people who knew exactly what they were doing," Parnas wrote. “Please abandon this effort to investigate the Bidens, which is nothing more than a wild goose chase, and let our elected officials return to the issue at hand of uniting our great country to be stronger and better than ever before."

Parnas cooperated with the first impeachment inquiry into Trump. He was later convicted of fraud and campaign finance crimes and sentenced to 20 months in prison. In his letter, he expressed remorse for his participation in Giuliani’s efforts.

The Hunter Biden investigation has been in the works for months. In June, the president's son agreed to plead guilty to a pair of federal misdemeanor counts in Delaware of failing to pay his taxes.

The White House has pushed back against the Biden family probes led by House Republicans.

"As we have said many times before, the President was not in business with his son," Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House counsel's office, said in a statement last month. "As we have also said many times before, the Justice Department makes decisions in its criminal investigations independently, and in this case."

Asked about the timing of the letter, an attorney for Parnas, Joseph Bondy, said his client had come forward out of a sense of duty, and he highlighted the panel's hearing scheduled for Wednesday, which is expected to include testimony from two purported whistleblowers who worked on the Justice Department's Hunter Biden investigation.

Rebecca Kaplan reported from Washington, and Zoë Richards reported from New York.