Things are moving in a fast an strange direction when it comes to Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal. When Lev Parnas appeared in court yesterday, he tried to invoke executive privilege, (falsely) asserting that he was working for the Trump administration, and making his trial Trump’s problem. Hours later, Rudy Giuliani came out of hibernation to tweet that everything he did in Ukraine was for Trump.
Even as Rudy, Lev, and Igor all continue to scramble to tie themselves to Trump on the legal front, new details are surfacing abou what they were up to before Lev and Igor got arrested. Not only were they conspiring with disgraced former Ukraine official Viktor Shokin to try to invent phony scandals about Joe Biden, they were preparing to put Shokin on the air to do an interview – with Sean Hannity. In fact, according to CNN, the interview was scheduled to take place in Vienna, the day after Lev and Igor were arrested.
To be clear, this does not criminally implicate Hannity. It’s not illegal to interview someone. It’s not even illegal to interview someone if you know they’re a criminal. But from a scandal standpoint, if not a legal standpoint, it does raise questions about just how much Hannity knew about what was going on. It also raises questions about how much or little Hannity might be legally required to testify about at the Parnas-Fruman trial, as Hannity may be a key witness, but he also has journalistic protections.
In any case, it’s fascinating that Donald Trump’s scandals just keep involving the same cast of characters. Shortly before election day in 2016, Rudy Giuliani bragged on cable news that he knew an FBI surprise was coming about Hillary Clinton – and it did. Now he’s deeply involved in Donald Trump’s attempt at rigging the 2020 election. Photographs reveal that Trump and Parnas have known each other for years. The same names just keep popping up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report