Giuliani associate says president was fully aware of efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, ‘knew exactly what was going on’.
In several stunning interviews just hours before Trump’s impeachment trial opened, the Ukrainian-born businessman Lev Parnas broke ranks from his close friend Rudy Giuliani to directly implicate Trump and a host of other Republican figures.
Parnas, charged in October with violating campaign finance laws, said Trump “knew exactly what was going on,” regarding his and business partner Igor Fruman’s efforts to influence the Ukrainian authorities.
Parnas told MSNBC that Trump had lied by denying he knew him.
The 47-year-old told CNN separately that the efforts were “all about” ensuring Trump won a second term as America’s leader, and not about fighting corruption as the president has claimed.
“He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president,” Parnas, an American citizen, told MSNBC Wednesday, his lawyer sitting by his side.
Parnas said he was often with Giuliani four or five times a week and regularly overheard him talking on the phone with Trump.