President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Earlier today, I did a writeup on Lev Parnas’ “bombshell” interview with Rachel Maddow. While Parnas did make a lot of serious accusations, there’s ample reason to not believe a word he says. He’s currently under indictment for unrelated finance crimes and is desperately trying to get the SDNY to cut him a deal. His claims also contradict many of the facts that the DOJ has laid out in their charges against him.
For example, while Parnas is trying to paint himself as a lackey of Rudy Giuliani, the opposite is true. Parnas actually sought out and paid for Giuliani’s “services” and was looking to get rid of former Ambassador Yovanovitch for his own reasons. It was Parnas who first brought up the issue, not anyone connected to Trump. The more you read his indictment and look at the timeline, the more obvious it is that Parnas is not a victim, but a mastermind who fed bad information to Giuliani in order to benefit himself.
Here it is for you pic.twitter.com/R56E5O6iiC
— Dana Boos (@DanaBoos3) January 16, 2020
The narrative that Trump used Parnas rather than Parnas seeking to use Trump — a narrative being sold by Parnas, and swallowed whole by the media — is rather convenient. And ridiculous, given what we know about Parnas.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 16, 2020
That doesn’t absolve the President of the mistake of letting Rudy freaking Giuliani run wild in Ukraine, but that still doesn’t mean the liberal narrative is true. The more we learn, the more Schiff’s portrayal of the situation looks like a massaged political hit and not an honest reading of what we know.
Now, we are getting reaction from Ukraine and it’s not exactly glowing endorsement of Parnas’ credibility.
Vadym Prystaiko, Foreign Minister of Ukraine: "Frankly, I have not spoken with [Lev Parnas], and again, frankly, I don’t trust any word he is now saying." pic.twitter.com/bRUm3mleqN
— The Hill (@thehill) January 16, 2020
This is the right answer until there’s evidence to the contrary. No one should be taking Parnas seriously giving the serious conflicts of interest he has.
Further, I see no reason for any Ukrainian official to lie to protect Trump. They know that no matter what happens at this point, that they will get their aid. There’s no scenario where the President could now stop aid to them because of the political ramifications at play and it’s obvious. Despite that, every current Ukrainian official that’s spoken publicly about this continues to maintain there was no deal made.
From the beginning, this has appeared to be much simpler than the media want to make it out as, mostly because it becomes a lot less damaging to Trump when you don’t set your hair on fire and assume the worst.
Did Trump want to see Burisma (and by virtue the Bidens’ sketchy involvement) investigated? I’m sure he did. He also noted several times that his concerns stemmed from corruption in 2016, which is a totally legitimate path to go down. The idea that it’s illegal or impeachable to request an ally look into such a matter is a standard only Trump has ever been held too. One can think he shouldn’t have done it without leaping off a cliff of hysteria in response, nor does the fact that Joe Biden is running for president give him a magic shield against corruption suspicions.
Things are going to get a lot dumber before this all over, so just be prepared. The rollout of the Lev Parnas interview was clearly timed to coincide with Pelosi’s move to advance the articles of impeachment. So was the GAO report on the OMB, and there will be even more “leaks” and “evidence” once the trial gets fully underway. You can count on it. It’s the Kavanaugh strategy all over again.