Press "Enter" to skip to content

CNN And MSNBC Let Lev Parnas Off The Hook

To hear Lev Parnas tell it, as he did in interviews this week with Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper, his laser-like focus on getting rid of the American ambassador to Ukraine was purely in service of President Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

In his interviews, which aired Wednesday and Thursday, Parnas apologized for his role in forcing Marie Yovanovitch’s removal from Kyiv. He said he no longer believes some of the allegations he spread about the diplomat, who Trump recalled from her post on April 24, 2019.

But Parnas left key details about his interest in Yavanovitch out of his interviews, which were the first he had conducted since being indicted on campaign finance charges in New York.

(Article Continues Below Advertisement)

According to an indictment unsealed on Oct. 10, the Soviet-born Parnas made illegal campaign contributions, known as “straw” donations, to several lawmakers and political committees. Prosecutors allege that Parnas acted at the behest of at least one Ukrainian government official — not Trump or Giuliani — to force Yovanovitch from office.

“PARNAS’s efforts to remove the Ambassador were conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials,” the government alleges.

One recipient of Parnas’s contributions was then-Texas Rep. Pete Sessions. Parnas allegedly made straw donations in June 2018 to Sessions’ campaign.

Sessions wrote a letter to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo on May 9, 2018, requesting a review of Yovanovitch.

(Article Continues Below Advertisement)

Sponsored Content

“I kindly ask you to consider terminating her ambassadorship and find a replacement as soon as possible,” Sessions wrote to Pompeo.

Yovanovitch was on Parnas’s mind a week before his meeting with Sessions.

Parnas told both Maddow and Cooper that he told Trump at a private fundraising event on April 30, 2018, that Yovanovitch had made derogatory statements about him.

“I don’t know how the conversation came up, but I do remember me telling the president that the ambassador was bad-mouthing him, and saying he would be impeached. Something to that effect,” Parnas told Maddow.