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Giuliani associate claims Pence didn't attend Ukrainian president's inauguration because Ukraine didn't announce an investigation into the Bidens

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 16 Jan 2020

Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas gave an exclusive interview to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday.Parnas claimed in the interview that Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence to cancel his trip to Ukraine after the country didn't announce an investigation into the Bidens.He also told Maddow that Pence was "in the loop" on Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.Hunter sat on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma until last April.A fuller picture of Parnas' role in Trump's pressure campaign against Ukraine emerged after the House Intelligence Committee released a slew of documents related to Trump's impeachment trial.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Rudy Giuliani's Ukrainian associate claimed to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that Vice President Mike Pence was "in the loop" on the Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine.Lev Parnas gave an exclusive interview to "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Wednesday, and claimed that President Donald Trump asked Pence to cancel his trip to Kyiv for Ukrainian President Zelensky's inauguration after Ukraine didn't announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma until last April.On Maddow, Parnas says Pence was withheld from the Ukrainian President's inauguration in retaliation for not accepting the demand to investigate Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/JFZwSycz6n' Anthony DeRosa' (@Anthony) January 16, 2020Important context: Jennifer Williams, a Pence national security aide, told impeachment investigators last year that Trump asked Pence not to attend Zelensky's inauguration.' Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) January 16, 2020"To my awareness, Trump called up and said to make sure Pence doesn't go there," Parnas told Maddow.He told Maddow that he was "100%" sure that Pence didn't attend Zelensky's inauguration because the country had not announced the Biden investigation."That was the key to where we are today, because after that, take a look at what transpires," Parnas continued. "Within the next couple of days, all of a sudden they realize now ' they get word because obviously when Pence cancels, they get word that Pence is not coming. So now they realize that what I was telling them was true.""I'm going to use a famous quote by Mr. [Gordon] Sondland: everybody 'was in the loop,'" Parnas said in response to Maddow's question as to whether the vice president was aware of his presence at the inauguration was contingent on Ukraine's announcement of the investigation.Lev Parnas on Mike Pence's involvement in the Ukraine scandal: "Everyone was in the loop... he went to Poland to discuss this on Trump's behalf, he couldn't have not known." pic.twitter.com/xTppBJQlHB' Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) January 16, 2020Parnas' central role in Trump's pressure campaign against Ukraine emerged after the House Intelligence Committee released a slew of documents ' including text messages, handwritten notes, and a letter from Giuliani to Zelensky ' related to the impeachment process.The House voted in December to impeach President Trump on two counts, related to the allegations that he used his power for political gain, and that he obstructed a congressional investigation. Trump has maintained his innocence in the matter, calling the impeachment inquiry a "hoax" and insisting there was no quid pro quo.In response to the Parnas interview, Giuliani issued a statement to The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, saying to "believe him at your peril."When Lev Parnas was arrested, Giuliani defended him & said he was sticking by him. Tonight he has a different message. 'Who cares'' he says in text. 'Believe him at your peril.' Adds that he feels sorry for 'him and his family.' Does not specify what he sees at falsehoods.' Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 16, 2020The White House did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Parnas and another of Giuliani's associates, Igor Fruman, were indicted last October on campaign finance violation charges in relation to a donation to a group supporting Trump's re-election campaign. Both pleaded not guilty.Read more:Explosive new documents involving Rudy Giuliani and a Ukrainian associate show the shocking extent of Trump's pressure campaignText messages show a Giuliani associate discussing how to stalk 'that b---h' Marie Yovanovitch in Ukraine in a bid to get her firedGiuliani associate Lev Parnas threw Trump under the bus in a new interview, saying the president 'knew exactly what was going on' in Ukraine the whole timeSEE ALSO:A handwritten note on Ritz-Carlton paper shows Giuliani associate Lev Parnas spelling out his top goal for Ukraine's president: Announce a criminal probe into Joe BidenJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope
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