In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas—an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who’s at the heart of the impeachment scandal—said he’s determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trump World on Ukraine despite the backlash.
Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for another interview set to run Thursday night. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president’s behalf. The comments drew attention from Capitol Hill, and Democratic congressional investigators have pointed to them as good reason for the Senate to call witnesses in its impeachment trial of Trump.
Parnas told The Daily Beast that his former friends’ reaction to his arrest has strengthened his resolve about speaking out. Parnas said that after he and his associate Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport on Oct. 9 and charged with campaign finance violations, he was disappointed with Giuliani’s silence. He said Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing—a Trump-friendly husband-and-wife legal team with deep and long-standing ties in Washington’s conservative legal world—also kept mum about their relationship with him. That silence, he said, left him feeling betrayed.