On the day that articles of impeachment of Donald Trump were walked over to the Senate, one might have expected the typical Trump Twitter rant that’s so common when he’s feeling desperate and nervous. Instead, Trump refrained from blowing up his Twitter feed and mostly stuck to retweeting other pro-Trump accounts. While this is somewhat surprising, it could have something to do with the fact that Lev Parnas – a main player in Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s extortion of Ukraine to obtain falsified dirt on Joe Biden– gave an exclusive interview to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
While most expected the Parnas interview to blow a hole in Trump’s excuses for withholding critical congressionally provided aid to Ukraine, nobody was expecting Parnas to also throw Giulliani, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William Barr under the bus as severely as he did. And this was just the first night of Maddow’s interview with Parnas, with more coming out on Thursday night.
With regard to Pence, Maddow asked Parnas explicitly if Pence was tasked with “getting President Zelensky to announce investigations of Joe Biden specifically, and tell them that they wouldn’t get their aid?” Parnas responded to this inquiry by saying Trump was annoyed by the fact Zelensky had yet to make such a public announcement despite repeated requests. This frustration led to Trump stopping Pence from being present at Zelensky’s Presidential inauguration.
While we all know that Attorney General William Barr is only concerned with protecting Trump, this Parnas interview really brings his corruption into focus. When Maddow asked if Barr had any involvement in this scheme to blackmail an American ally, Parnas responded, “Barr had to know everything. Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.”
As we wait for the release of more information provided by Parnas, it’s important to understand just how bad this is for Trump. It appears that every pro-Trump talking point throughout the impeachment inquiry, during all of the private and public testimony, is being ripped to shreds. And while all of this is damning to Trump’s defense, perhaps the biggest bombshell of all is when Parnas states “Trump knew exactly what was going on.”
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.