Lev Parnas: Pence Pressed Zelensky to Announce Biden Investigation

Lev Parnas claimed during an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Vice President Mike Pence under the direction of President Donald Trump told Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce Ukraine was investigating former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for military aid.

Parnas said, “At every meeting, either Giuliani or I would have, or somebody from the Trump’s government would have with the Ukrainians, they would also agree that they were going to make some sort of — that they were on board. They’ll make an announcement, and then they would walk it back. After certain instances, President Trump was supposed to meet Zelensky in Poland himself. But he used the excuse of the hurricane. It wasn’t because of the hurricane. It was because he was angry that Zelensky still didn’t make an attempt or effort to make an announcement.”

Maddow said, “How do you know that was an excuse?”

Parnas said, “I spoke to Rudy. Rudy would talk to me. We spoke about this every day. Everything that was going on was between me, Victoria, Rudy, I mean the team.”

Maddow said, “So President Trump is supposed to go, he decides not to go. Sends Vice President Pence.”

Parnas said, “He sends him instead. He’s to go there and get it straightened out that Zelensky was supposed to make another announcement. That didn’t happen. That’s when Bolton, Secretary Bolton, went over there. I think he has a lot to say. I think he’s a key witness to his conversation with Zelensky. And when he came back and why he left or got fired, however, you want to look at that.”

Maddow said, “Let me make sure what you are saying. When Vice President Pence went over there on September 1st, again in President Trump’s stead, you have reason to believe that Vice President Pence was tasked at that meeting with getting President Zelensky to announce investigation into Joe Biden specifically and to tell them they wouldn’t get the aid until they —”

Parnas said, “I don’t know exactly, but like I said, the aid itself was something that I think the president decided to do —what’s it called? I think it was a reaction that there was no announcement being made after so many attempts and so many promises.”

Maddow said, “Holding the aid was the president’s own sort of innovation to add to the leverage.”

Parnas said, “I think so.”

Maddow said, “Add to the pressure that people like you, the vice president, Mr. Giuliani, everybody else involved was putting on the Ukraine government.”

Parnas said, “Correct.”

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