Just when we thought the plot couldn’t get any thicker — it does.
Almost two weeks ago, Lev Parnas was arrested for campaign finance violations involving an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money into US elections. Of course, Rudy Giuliani’s associations with the felonious Parnas and the 500,000 paid by his firm to Giuliani have been widely reported.
But as they say in TV commercials, — wait, there’s more.
Parnas has been connected to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. As one might expect, DeSantis tried to un-connect himself from Parnas as the news surfaced, claiming he didn’t know him, then hardly knew him. Then, after a photograph surfaced of the two together at a campaign event Parnas finally owned up to knowing him and his associate, Igor Fruman. Parnas is next to the smiling candidate at a campaign rally in South Daytona. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is standing nearby in the shot, which was published by Getty Images.
Since then, more photos and video have surfaced putting the two together, even hugging.
BREAKING: We found more photos of Ron DeSantis on election night with the two arrested Giuliani associates. This time, they're hugging.
— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) October 18, 2019
It was then reported that the two literally traveled together during the crucial last week of the 2018 campaign — one where DeSantis narrowly edged out his opponent after a recount.
Of course, DeSantis denied that the two were traveling together, but that story fell apart as well. At best, Team DeSantis is now grasping at the straws that the two weren’t on the same plane during that week.
Politico has reported on the conflicting accounts:
Edward MacMahon, a Virginia attorney representing Parnas, said “if he was in the pictures,” then Parnas was likely on the DeSantis campaign plane.
Helen Aguirre Ferré, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said that while pictures show Parnas at two campaign events that day, Giuliani and the DeSantis campaign each had their own planes and Parnas used the Giuliani plane.
That “iron-clad alibi” fell apart too … again, from Politico:
Bondi, in a text message, said she could not recall if Parnas was on the plane used by the campaign that day, or whether she talked to Parnas.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday published a report on Parnas’ private Instagram account, which featured a picture of Parnas and Giuliani on a jet that was posted a day before the DeSantis campaign events.
The Journal report included a photo from Parnas’ account that showed Giuliani at the Nov. 4 Boca Raton event for DeSantis. A photo posted on Twitter shows Parnas standing behind Giuliani at the same campaign rally.
Parnas and Fruman are based in South Florida and were helping Giuliani investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and frequent target of Trump attacks.
So now the questions remain — what else is DeSantis hiding? Why has he or his office lied about the extent of their contact? Does this have anything to do with the Ukrainian scandal or other abuses of power by Trump?
As they say on TV … stay tuned.