On Tuesday evening, the House Intelligence Committee released a trove of documents from Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s fixer in Ukraine, for consideration as evidence in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The papers further cement the connections between Parnas, Giuliani, and the president, despite Trump’s attempts to distance himself from his own plot to solicit foreign interference in an American election.
The documents, which the House Intelligence committee sent to colleagues in the Judiciary committee, strengthen Democrats’ calls for new evidence to be admitted and new witnesses to be heard in the Senate trial, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expects to start next Tuesday. A statement from the chairs of the four committees involved in the impeachment inquiry stated that the documents “demonstrate that there is more evidence relevant to the President’s scheme, but they have been concealed by the President himself.”
Like many elements of Parnas’s run-in with the law, some of the documents carry an aspect of humor, like his decision to document the impeachable scheme on hotel stationery:
On the back of the undated Ritz-Carlton note, Parnas wrote himself a reminder to “do my magic” and underlined his phrase “cut deal.” It also appears that Parnas may have been monitoring the location of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, through an American named Robert Hyde. A new character in the impeachment saga: Robert Hyde, a Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut. Prior to his apparent monitoring of Yovanovitch through an associate, Hyde was most prominently known for a horrible tweet regarding Kamala Harris and her decision to drop out of the Democratic primary in December.
The last page of the documents features a letter from Trump attorney Jay Sekulow to former Trump attorney John Dowd, in which Sekulow says that the president “consents” to a plan for Dowd to represent Lev Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman. “The President consents to allowing your representation of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman,” the email reads.
Such an exchange further erodes the likelihood of President Trump’s October claim that he was not familiar with Parnas and Fruman: “I don’t know those gentlemen,” he told reporters upon their arrest for campaign finance violations in October. Then again, so does a photograph of the three of them together, as well as a CNN report from November documenting at least ten interactions between Trump and Giuliani’s indicted associates.