President Donald Trump’s various impeachment defenses have all gone up in smoke in the wake of a document dump that proves he abused his power, and it’s all thanks to Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, a key player in the Ukraine scandal.
Parnas is currently charged with planning to disperse funds from foreign governments to American lawmakers, a major campaign finance violation connected to Trump’s effort to bribe Ukraine into opening a sham investigation into former Vice-President Joe Biden in an attempt to hurt him ahead of the 2020 Election.
As part of the scheme, Trump needed to remove and replace U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich. Parnas kept tabs on Yovanovich, who would go on to deliver damning testimony against Trump during the House impeachment hearings.
Parnas faces serious prison charges, and that’s why he is cooperating with the impeachment proceedings by providing evidence of Trump’s crimes to the House Intelligence Committee. On Tuesday, the committee unveiled those documents and they are explosive enough that Trump’s defense has been blown to bits as
former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal and former Justice Department official Joshua A. Geltzer explained in a Washington Post column published on Wednesday.
“Americans who have been wondering why President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of trying to block every document from being released to Congress in his impeachment need wonder no longer,” the duo wrote. “The new documents released Tuesday evening by the House Intelligence Committee were devastating to Trump’s continuing — if shifting — defense of his Ukraine extortion scandal, just days before his impeachment trial is likely to begin in the Senate. These new documents demolish at least three key defenses to which Trump and his allies have been clinging.”
Trump has repeatedly insisted that he was only interested in fighting corruption, which he could have done in his official capacity as president. Only he didn’t do that.
“The documents released Tuesday now show what Trump has been so afraid of,” Katyal and Geltzer wrote. “For starters, they prove that Trump’s already-eyebrow-raising claim to have been fighting corruption in Ukraine was bogus. Notes taken by Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas — now facing federal criminal charges — show what his and Giuliani’s mission was when they got in touch with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: ‘get Zalensky [sic] to Announce that the Biden case will Be Investigated.’”
It turns out a letter from Giuliani to Ukraine President Zelensky reveals Trump’s desire to hide his involvement by working through Giuliani, a private citizen.
“This letter is a devastating indication of what’s been clear to many all along: that Trump’s pursuit of an announcement that Ukraine was looking into Biden was an abuse of his public office for personal gain,” Katyal and Geltzer wrote. “That’s what this letter sure seems to be saying. And it makes clear that what was afoot had nothing to do with law enforcement or Biden’s corruption — it wasn’t a request from the official ‘President of the United States’ but rather one from a ‘private citizen.’”
The new evidence is so devastating that both legal experts predict that Trump’s next desperate move could be to throw Giuliani under the bus during his Senate trial, and it’s why Senate Republicans should stop trying to rig it and allow witness testimony.
It’s so damning to Trump that we can foresee the president claiming during impeachment that Giuliani was lying — back then, and even still today. That’s where Senate testimony can prove crucial. All told, the documents help to explain Trump’s consistent push to bury the evidence against himself. Every week, it becomes clearer why Trump has withheld documents from Congress, blocked executive branch officials and even private citizens from testifying before Congress, and overall, well, obstructed Congress, as the second article of impeachment rightly describes it. It’s because Trump is a man with something to hide. Let’s see what else he’s hiding — in front of the Senate next week, in a good, old-fashioned American trial for all to see.
If Trump does throw Giuliani under the bus, it could certainly backfire because Giuliani has previously warned that he has dirt on Trump he can provide in retaliation.
This new document release is exactly why Senate Republicans were hoping to rush a trial to acquittal. Because every day they wait is another day more evidence comes to light that makes it clear they should vote to convict Trump and remove him from office. Now, they may have no choice as the American people read the evidence as well.
Featured Image: CNN screenshot