A plethora of new evidence in the impeachment lawsuit against President Donald Trump is being brought to the Senate by the House Justice Committee, several chairmen of the House committee said on Tuesday.
The evidence includes new text messages and phone records from Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American business partner of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer. The treasure trove also contains a letter Giuliani sent to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
"In my capacity as President Trump's personal advisor, with his knowledge and consent, I would like you to meet this coming Monday, May 13 or Tuesday, May 14," Giuliani wrote in the May 10 letter ,
"I will take no more than half an hour of your time and will be accompanied by my colleague Victoria Toensing, a respected American lawyer who is very familiar with the matter," Giuliani wrote.
According to House Democrats, Parnas sent a copy of this letter to a Zelenskiy adjutant. This meeting was apparently canceled, but Parnas continued to try to arrange a meeting with Zelenskiy.
The documents shed new light on the extent to which the President was involved in Giuliani's efforts last spring to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Trump's political rivals.
They also reveal that Trump personally agreed that his former lawyer John Dowd Parnas and his partner Igor Fruman would become legal clients after the two were arrested in October on charges of campaign funding.
Parnas' new information, including copies of handwritten letters, phone records, and other communications to foreign officials, was released a day before Parliament's vote to send the articles to the Senate on Trump's indictment.
The process could begin as early as Tuesday, according to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
Democratic intelligence, oversight, and foreign affairs committees state that the 59 pages of records released on Tuesday evening make up a tiny fraction of the total number of documents surrounded by Parnas.
The rest of the treasure, which they said contains sensitive information, will be made available to members of the relevant House committees, Senate members, and the White House.
The Democrats initiated impeachment in the House of Representatives in late 2019 to investigate Trump's efforts to get Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia were in the 2016 presidential election interfered. Trump asked Zelenskiy to announce the investigation, while hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid allocated to Ukraine in Congress was withheld without a clear explanation.
"Despite the unprecedented and far-reaching hindrance to our presidential impeachment inquiry, we continued to collect additional evidence relevant to the president's plan to abuse his power by calling on Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election for the president's benefit" said the Chairman of the House Committee, Jerrold Nadler. Adam Schiff, Carolyn Maloney and Eliot Engel said in a joint statement.
Some of this evidence includes screenshots of Parnas' notes handwritten on letterhead for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna, Austria.
Parnas wrote on a seemingly typographic task list: "Get Zalensky to announce that the Biden case is under investigation."
On another page, Parnas wrote: "Get rid of Lenny Davis (nice)", referring to Lanny Davis, a former defense lawyer for the accused Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.
Davis, who now represents Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, told CNBC in a phone call, "I never met Parnas or knew him until he showed up after I left Mr. Firtash. I don't know the man."
Davis adds that for Firtash, "he was only a defense lawyer and also corrected public records, but never approached politics."
"It was a red line for me and I am saddened by Mr Firtash's current situation," he said.
"All of this new evidence confirms what we already know: the President and his staff have put pressure on Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit the President politically," said the Democratic chairman in her statement. "There can be no complete and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump does not want to make available to Congress."
Trump insisted during the impeachment investigation that he knew little about Giuliani's Ukraine deal.
Last November, Trump was asked by former Fox News presenter Bill O & # 39; Reilly what Giuliani did for Trump in Ukraine. Trump replied that had no idea.
"You have to ask Rudy, but Rudy, I don't know, I don't even know. I know he would go to Ukraine and I think he canceled a trip. But you know Rudy has other customers I'm a person, "Trump said to O & # 39; Reilly.
Giuliani has "done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years and I think I heard that, maybe I read it somewhere," said Trump.
He also claimed to know nothing about Parnas and Fruman, who worked with Giuliani to get Ukrainian officials to help Trump by damaging Biden, Trump's 2020 presidential rival.
"I don't know these gentlemen," Trump said about Parnas and Fruman last October after being arrested at an airport with one-way tickets from the United States.
"Now it's possible for me to have a picture with them because I have a picture with everyone," Trump told White House reporters. "Someone said there might be a picture or something in a fundraiser or something. But I have pictures with everyone … I don't know, maybe they were Rudy's customers. You'd have to ask Rudy."
However, an email between Dowd and Trump's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, released on Tuesday as part of the cache of new evidence, suggests that Trump knew the two Giuliani employees previously.
"John, I discussed the issue of representation with the President," Sekulow wrote to Dowd on October 2, eight days before Trump denied knowing Parnas and Fruman.
"The President agrees that you can represent Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman," wrote Sekulow.In the event that you don't want to progress anymore