Giuliani Associate Says He Gave Demand for Biden Inquiry to Ukrainians ,
Vice President Mike Pence would not attend the swearing-in of the new president, and the United States would freeze aid, The claim by Parnas, who is preparing to share his account with impeachment investigators, Trump and Ukrainian officials that is at the core of the congressional inquiry. It also directly links Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer,
To threats of repercussions made to the Ukrainians, something he has strenuously denied. But Parnas’ account, while potentially significant, is being contradicted on several fronts. None of the people involved dispute that the meeting occurred,
But Parnas stands alone in saying the intention was to present an ultimatum to the Ukrainian leadership. Another participant in the meeting, Parnas’ business partner, Igor Fruman, said Parnas’ claim was false;
The men never raised the issues of aid or the vice president’s attendance at the inauguration, lawyers for Fruman said. Giuliani denied Parnas’ contention that he had delivered the warning at the direction of Giuliani. “Categorically,
The dispute represents the clearest indication yet that Parnas, who was indicted along with Fruman last month on campaign finance charges, has turned on Trump and Giuliani. Parnas and Fruman, both Soviet-born businessmen from Florida, worked with Giuliani for months in Ukraine outside normal diplomatic channels to further Trump’s interests.
The men have been subpoenaed to testify before Congress, and Parnas’ lawyer has said his client will comply to the extent he can without incriminating himself. It is unclear if Parnas will ultimately be called to testify. Trump froze nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine shortly before a July 25 call with the country’s president,