The president recently said Saudi Arabia paid $1 billion to the US for us to station troops there. The president for years has argued countries with a US military presence must pay us for the “privilege.” This would turn the US military into a mercenary force. Thankfully, like several of his recent claims about the military, the president was lying.
Lev Parnas is the indicted Ukrainian-American who was working for Giuliani on Trump’s shadow foreign policy. Since his arrest Parnas has been publicly lobbying for permission to turn over important materials to congress which was granted. Today, Democrats in the House released some of those documents. Giuliani wrote a letter to the Ukrainian government asking to meet personally with president-elect Zelensky. Giuliani wrote that this was at the president’s request and he was acting as the president’s personal lawyer. Giuliani has publicly said both that he was acting on behalf of the State Department and that he was acting as a personal lawyer. Both can’t be true. But this also removes deniability that Trump had no idea what Giuliani was doing.
Parnas took handwritten notes during a phone with Giulani while in Vienna. These notes show Parnas was tasked with getting Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Biden’s to help Trump win the election. They also mention Dmitry Firtash, who is connected to the Russian mafia. The notes talk about “getting rid of (nicely)” Firtash’s lawyer right next to the names of lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova. Indeed, Firtash fired Davis and replaced him with Toensing and diGenova who also worked with Giuliani and informally advised the president. Giuliani told Firtash if he assisted in finding dirt on the Bidens, the State Department could help him with his numerous legal issues.
Also from the Parnas documents are text messages from Robert Hyde, a Republican donor and congressional candidate, and Yuriy Lutsenko, a former Ukrainian prosecutor. Mr. Hyde told Parnas he had Ambassador Yovanovich under surveillance, including her electronic devices. He said he knew some people who could help with her for a price. Ambassador Yovanovich was recalled due to unnamed threats. It appears those threats were coming from men working with the president’s lawyer. Lutsenko told Parnas he was working on getting information on the Biden’s but said it was a problem the couldn’t get rid of Yovanivich.
Mitch McConnell does not want any of this information being brought up during Trump’s Senate trial.