Giuliani Associate Alleges He Threatened Ukraine’s Aid if They Didn’t Commit to Biden Probe
An associate of Rudy Giuliani allegedly told Ukraine that President Donald Trump’s administration would withhold aid to the country if they did not investigate Joe Biden.
The New York Times reports a lawyer for Lev Parnas said he met with a representative of Volodymyr Zelensky’s government in May where Parnas told a government official that Ukraine had to announce an investigation into Biden and his son, or else Vice President Mike Pence would not attend Zelensky’s swearing-in and the United States would freeze aid.
The Times went on to note that Parnas’ potentially-explosive claim is being disputed on multiple fronts, including by his business partner Igor Fruman and Giuliani–with Giuliani’s defense being “I did not tell him to say that.”
“Another participant in the meeting, Mr. Parnas’s business partner, Igor Fruman, said Mr. Parnas’s claim was false; the men never raised the issues of aid or the vice president’s attendance at the inauguration, lawyers for Mr. Fruman said.
Mr. Giuliani denied Mr. Parnas’s contention that he had delivered the warning at the direction of Mr. Giuliani. “Categorically, I did not tell him to say that,” Mr. Giuliani said.
The dispute represents the clearest indication yet that Mr. Parnas, who was indicted along with Mr. Fruman last month on campaign finance charges, has turned on Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani.”
Both Parnas and Fruman have been subpoenaed by Congress to testify in the impeachment inquiry, and Parnas’ lawyer says he intends to comply to the extent he can do so without self-incrimination.
A previous report alleged Parnas and Fruman also attempted to pressure the prior administration of Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political foes.
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