Parnas implicates both Barr and Pence in the Trump administration’s plan to coerce Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Joe Biden

I’ll keep this brief, and just get right to the point. This evening, Trump administration bag man Lev Parnes told Rachel Maddow not only that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani were directing his activities in the Ukraine, but that both Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Bill Barr were aware of their plan to coerce the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into Joe Biden. Here’s a bit of the video.

Among other things, Parnes said that, “It was never about corruption,” and that “President Trump knew exactly what was going on.” And, as I eluded to above, he also made it clear that everyone in the administration was aware of what was happening. “Attorney General Barr was basically on the team,” he told Maddow. And it would appear that Pence was in the know as well, cancelling his trip to Ukraine for Zelensky’s inauguration when the newly-elected President initially resisted playing along, refusing to make a public announcement about Biden being investigated for corruption.

Oh, it’s also worth pointing out that Giuliani’s opinion about his old associate has changed. When Parnas and his associate Fruman had been arrested for funneling illegal foreign campaign contributions into he coffers of American politicians this past October, Giuliani had come to their defense, telling Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey, “I certainly am not going to disavow them. I have no reason to doubt them. Everything I’ve known about them says they would not commit a crime.” Today, however, Giuliani is saying of Parnes, “Believe him at your peril.”

I don’t have any illusions about either Barr or Pence being driven from office over this suggestion by Parnes that they were “in the loop,” but I do find it interesting, and would hope that, at the very least, it helps make clear to Senate Republican how serious this is, and how imperative it is that a real, substantive trial take place.

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41 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Agent Orange is a Ruskie stooge and should be executed for treason in a cyber war. These henchmen antics are still a distraction from the original crime against The Constitution. Anyone who continues to support him should be treated as an accomplice and shunned, disgraced, and hounded into Oblivion.

  2. Seth Abramson
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Honestly if you believe even 50% of what Parnas told MSNBC tonight I don’t even see how the Senate trial can go forward without a two-week continuance to depose Parnas and let Trump’s attorneys cross-examine him

  3. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    John Brown, let’s allow Trump to take down as many Republicans as possible, first. If he implodes the GOP, I’ll want to give him a medal.

  4. Bob
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Do we have any clue what the procedure is for impeachment of the vice president? And speaking of procedure, the Dems tone-deaf procedural display for signing and delivering the articles last night was so cringe inducing. Perception is everything with this barely informed public and Dems did themselves no favors as usual. Pelosi can call the shots but they need someone else as the public face of it. Sorry, she just looks terrible. Old, shaky, bumbling. It’s just a fact. The ridiculous act of signing her name with twenty commemorative pens. The awful selfies she was taking with people on the floor. The truly stupid walk by that dopey group to deliver the papers. Dumb procedure and a really bad tape roll. Why are they so fucking clueless?

  5. Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    #MoscowMitch is live on the senate floor now:

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/floor_activity_pail.htm

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Bob– you are a really fucked up person who needs help. I hope to hell you aren’t married to a woman or even worse, parenting one.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Mark– can you explain why iRobert’s name in comments sometimes hyperlinks to the congressional record?

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    oops, the senate floor webcast?

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Oh I see it links to whatever he last posted. Interesting… Not sure why I never noticed that before. I’m sure there will be theories…

  10. Meta
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    NYT: “Watchdog Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid”

    The Government Accountability Office said blocking the military assistance violated a law that limits a president’s power to withhold money allocated by Congress.

    The Trump administration violated the law in withholding security assistance aid to Ukraine, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency said on Thursday, weighing in on a decision by President Trump that is at the heart of the impeachment case against him.

    The Government Accountability Office said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act when it withheld nearly $400 million for “a policy reason,” even though the funds had been allocated by Congress. The decision was directed by the president himself, and during the House impeachment inquiry, administration officials testified that they had raised concerns about its legality to no avail.

    “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the G.A.O. wrote. “The withholding was not a programmatic delay.”

    The impoundment law limits a president’s power to withhold money that has been allocated by Congress, requiring that he secure approval by the legislative branch if he wishes to do so.

    Read more:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/us/politics/gao-trump-ukraine.html

  11. Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I often make my name hyperlink to a page which is relaxant to whatever I’ve referenced in my comment.

    It’s kind of an “Easter egg” sometimes, as the gamers like to say. Made you look! Made you look!

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Drawandstrike clears it up.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1217677893716860929.html

    Look, this is simple.

    Ukraine under former President Poroshenko got sent billions of dollars in foreign aid and a couple of those billions of dollars – US taxpayers money – turned up missing. It can’t be accounted for.

    As long as Poroshenko was President, so it remained.
    But then something unexpected happened. Poroshenko LOST the election in Ukraine in May 2019.

    Volodymyr Zelensky upset him.

    All of a sudden, with a new gov’t coming in promising corruption reform, there was a CHANCE to find out where all the missing US $$$ went.
    Rudy Giuliani says US diplomats in Ukraine not only were not trying to find out where the money went, they were **actively insisting** this not be investigated, especially after the Zelensky administration came into power.
    And both Trump and Giuliani are going to DEMONSTRATE why US diplomatic personnel in Ukraine did not want this missing money investigated or tracked.

    Because they were actually HELPING corrupt Ukrainian officials steal it. Because top Democrats got substantial kickbacks.
    This is how Trump turns the tables on these Democratic goons at the Senate trial.

    He’s not REALLY going to be the one on trial.

    /end

  13. Lynne
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Geez Bob, could you be more sexist? I’m sorry that some of the women in congress aren’t young and hot enough for you *gag*

  14. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    HW, I agree with you, except it’s obvious Trump is corrupt as well. The only moment he’s ever pretended to care about corruption anywhere, ever, was when he thought it might hurt his opponent to announce it was being investigated.

  15. Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I have to agree with Bob. This is the 21st Century. There’s no reason everyone in congress can’t be a super-hot chick. Their approval rating might get out of the single digits for the first time in decades.

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Trump is corrupt for rooting out corruption. Huh.

  17. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Trump has been corrupt all his life. He wouldn’t know how not to be. It’s not his little move to expose the Biden payoff that I’m basing this on. I’m basing it on everything Trump has done in business, in his personal life and in the office of President.

    Again, I like a few of his policies. That doesn’t hinder my ability to see who he is.

  18. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Fucking porn stars and paying them off to keep quiet, and then lying about it, was the high-point of Trump’s moral life. It’s essentially his Modus Operandi in all things in life. Trump University might have been his most honest business pursuit.

    Like I said, Trump only pretended to be concerned about one very specific example of corruption. This is the only time in his entire life he’s ever even pretended to care about any sort of corruption. He wasn’t even asking for an actual investigation into the Biden-Barisma payoff. He just wanted a phony announcement, simply for the purpose of damaging his front-running opponent.

  19. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    By the way, HW, I think you and I agree on the Crowdstrike stuff.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    HW also believed Tom Hanks is sending secret messages to his fellow baby eaters through his firms.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Oh, just…everything. I see. A sort of a cloying aura or seedy red-light halo reflecting the totality of his behavior. Nothing actually corrupt in political life.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Interesting comment, Anonymous. Hanks posts things I find creepy as shit for sure. Not sure what his firms are and I’m not sure anyone in particular is involved in cannibalism. For sure some people in this world do it. A man was arrested in Michigan recently for it.

    Quote what I said about it exactly. No “characterizations”. Don’t be a crying baby. Come on.

  23. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Sara Ruth Ashcraft is a woman from Michigan who says Hanks abused her as a child. I think it is wise to listen and learn. To purposefully remain ignorant but to exercise maximum judgment can only be destructive. You could accidentally be right but if you are relying on that chances are you probably won’t!

  24. Anonymous
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t HW just asking which law Trump broke? Now w have an answer!

  25. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    If you are wrong and you are ridiculing someone exposing true massive horrific crime then you are effectively supporting the criminals. It’s kind of a big deal I think. It’s a betrayal of all that is good but the only thing you could ever get out of it is a Happy Meal and a small shake. Some small, short-lived satisfaction, then reality sets in. No matter, if the world went to hell because of what you did you would still blame the other.

  26. Bob
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Go fuck yourself, Jean. I’m sure there isn’t a line.

  27. Bob
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    You too Lynne. You two are such knee-jerk reactors. Did you watch the footage? She looks confused, not ugly. And the point is that the need to play this exactly perfectly to accomplish anything. Assholes.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Bob—
    Nancy Pelosi and Bernie are the same age.

    Every time you tell me to go fuck myself, my heart songs a little.

    And, actually, there is a line.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Government Accountability Office just issued a report sanctioning Trump for withholding aid to the Ukraine.

    Lynne— it’s so cool that your brother works there. Probably not realistic given his job, but I think Mark should interview him.

  30. Lynne
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    JH, I think it is cool too. He is currently working on a human trafficking project. It is a bit emotional for him though. He was recently in the Philippines to interview victims of human trafficking and he heard some really terrible stories. Just like the government to send him halfway around the world when he lives close to that pizza place in DC that was accused of human trafficking in their non-existent basement.

    Unfortunately, he is expressly forbidden from talking to the press (and a blog kind of counts as the press) about his work. So while Mark could interview him, he couldn’t talk about the really interesting stuff.

  31. Lynne
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Bob, I will cop to that. I do react when I see such blatant sexism. Most women do although many prefer not to react publically because women are so often punished for their reactions to sexism. You can do with that feedback what you will.

  32. Lynne
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Thinking of Ukraine and corruption and stories my brother has told me. I think I can share this one because even though he was in the Ukraine on a work trip, this didn’t really involve his work.

    He and some of his work friends went out to dinner in Kiev. They all had a few glasses of wine. When the bill came, it was MUCH higher than expected. The management said that the price on the menu was for 1/4 of a glass of wine so they were charged 4x the menu price for each glass of wine they drank. There was nothing on the menu to suggest that! He thinks that the restaurant just figured they were rich Americans and it would be ok to rip them off. They ended up paying so as not to cause an international incident! It has made me wonder if there is something about the culture there that makes corruption more socially acceptable? I don’t know.

  33. Lynne
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    An interesting piece, written by Connie Schultz, about how difficult it can be dealing with certain Bernie supporters.

    https://www.creators.com/read/connie-schultz/01/20/it-piles-up-this-stuff-in-our-way?fbclid=IwAR1nCjsTky3VthNGStuCPE3zCTP3VOWsgoVQ94lPYjbWlwXdQOKVl6Oy1Fk

  34. Wobblie
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Aloha JH and Lynn are confounding good old fashion ageism for sexism. He only supports Bernie because he wants to deflect the ageist accusation. I have no doubt that he is a secret Tulsi supporter.

  35. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get mad, HW. Trump won’t be removed from office no matter what details come out. He’s probably going to get another four years too.

    But it’s good for the country that the coverup does maximum damage to the GOP.

  36. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I am worried about Frosted Flakes and EOS though. I hope they’re getting the help they need.

  37. iRobert
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Sad disappeared moths ago, and nobody noticed, or cared.

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2020 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Wrong iRobert. Sad has been around. Maybe he’s just avoiding you.

  39. iRobert
    Posted January 17, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    When did he last post? I haven’t noticed any posts from him in months.

    I hope he’s finally getting off the couch.

  40. Lynne
    Posted January 17, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Maybe he is out campaigning for Mayor Pete?

  41. Posted January 17, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    If Mayor Pete has gotten Sad out of the house, I’m all for it.

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