Parnas names top Trump officials in letter to McConnell on potential testimony

The letter represents a last-ditch attempt by Parnas to make known the value of the information he says he could provide as a witness.

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By Josh Lederman and Lisa Ferri

WASHINGTON — The attorney for indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas sent a letter Friday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with a laundry list of alleged evidence he would testify to if allowed to appear as a witness in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

The letter, sent by Parnas’s attorney Joseph Bondy and obtained by NBC News, represents a last-ditch attempt by Parnas to make known the value of the information he feels he could provide as he continues to push to be a witness. It comes as the Senate appears all but certain to vote Friday to reject hearing witnesses before voting to acquit the president, likely next week.

The letter marks the second 11th-hour revelation Friday as Democrats pressure Senate Republicans to allow witnesses to testify, although there are no indications fo far that any such pressure is swaying at Republicans. Earlier Friday, The New York Times reported that former White House national security adviser John Bolton has alleged in his forthcoming book that Trump directed him to help with his effort to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

The letter to McConnell and copied to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says that Parnas would testify to “the thousands of micro-steps he took in connection with this plan” to gather “dirt” on Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The items mentioned in the letter generally track with assertions Parnas has already made in TV interviews as well as documents he turned over to the House.

“If Lev Parnas was called as a witness, he would provide testimony based upon personal knowledge, corroborated by physical evidence including text messages, phone records, documentary evidence, and travel records, which is directly relevant to the president’s impeachment inquiry,” Bondy wrote in the letter.

Parnas would provide information involving the president and a long list of top Trump administration officials and Republican figures, according to the letter, including: Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Bill Barr, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Nunes adviser Derek Harvey, journalist John Solomon, pro-Trump attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, and America First, a pro-Trump super PAC.

The letter emphasizes that Parnas’s testimony would echo what Bolton, the witness Democrats are pushing hardest to hear from, is expected to say if he were allowed to testify. Parnas would testify to “the pressure the president was placing upon Ambassador Bolton to assist in resolving the apparent unwillingness of [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskiy to abide by the president’s wishes.”

The letter urges McConnell “to endorse voting in favor of calling witnesses and hearing evidence, so senators can make a fully informed choice in the president’s impeachment inquiry, based upon all the relevant facts.”

Some of the topics Parnas would testify to, according to the letter, include the following:

  • His trips to Ukraine “to directly convey the president’s alleged ‘quid pro quo.’”
  • Times and places where he overheard Giuliani talk to Trump and where Parnas interacted directly with Trump.
  • His meeting with a top aide to Zelenskiy aide in which Parnas says he conveyed the alleged quid pro quo.
  • A conversation he overheard between Giuliani and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry in which the arrangement was conveyed.
  • His trip with Giuliani to Madrid to meet with Zelenskiy aide Andrey Yermak.
  • Coordination during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, when Zelenskiy met with Trump in New York. He would say he was in “constant contact” with Giuliani and Yermak during the time of the meeting.
  • The origins of his relationships with Trump and Giuliani.
  • How he acted at all times “at the direction of Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of the president,” and with Trump’s knowledge about the demands being imposed on Ukraine.