Lev Parnas’ Claims to Be Following the Opinion of His Clique on Yovanovitch Are Demonstrably False

I just watched Lev Parnas’ interview with Anderson Cooper.

On it, he went further in his comments about Marie Yovanovitch than he did last night, when he apologized for being part of the attacks on her. Tonight, he said he came to hate her only because of the opinion of those around him.

Except that’s inconsistent with another detail he offered (one repeated in the part of the Maddow interview aired tonight) — that he knows of at least four attempts to fire Yovanovitch. The first, he explained, was when he was at an American First SuperPAC event and told Trump that Yovanovitch was bad-mouthing him, in response to which Trump turned to his aide John DeStefano and told him to fire her.

That incident was reported on last year.

The April 2018 dinner was designed to be an intimate affair, an opportunity for a handful of big donors to a super PAC allied with President Trump to personally interact with the president and his eldest son.

In an exclusive suite known as the Trump Townhouse at Trump’s Washington hotel, the group — including Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the famous golfer, and a New York developer — snapped photos, dined and chatted about their pet issues with the president for about 90 minutes.

Among those in attendance were two Florida business executives who had little history with Republican politics but had snagged a spot at the dinner with the promise of a major contribution to the America First super PAC. They turned the conversation to Ukraine, according to people familiar with the event, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private dinner.

One of the men, Lev Parnas, has described to associates that he and his business partner, Igor Fruman, told Trump at the dinner that they thought the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was unfriendly to the president and his interests.

According to Parnas, the president reacted strongly to the news: Trump immediately suggested that then-Ambassador Marie ­Yovanovitch, who had been in the Foreign Service for 32 years and served under Democratic and Republican presidents, should be fired, people familiar with his account said.

Parnas was inciting Trump to fire Yovanovitch months and months before the effort picked up in earnest. That was before Rudy even started this project. That is, this incident is utterly inconsistent with Parnas’ claims to have adopted his malign opinion of Yovanovitch from those around him.

He was a leader, not a follower, on attacking Yovanovitch.

That said, Parnas’ effort to get Yovanovitch fired a year before she was ultimately fired may have had something to do with Trump. As I’ve noted, it coincides with the time when Paul Manafort’s fate started to go south.

When she asked Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan why she had been withdrawn with almost no notice, he told her Trump had been pressuring State to do so since Summer 2018.

Finally, after being asked by the Department in early March to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine “on the next plane.” You will understandably want to ask why my posting ended so suddenly. I wanted to learn that too, and I tried to find out. I met with the Deputy Secretary of State, who informed me of the curtailment of my term. He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador. He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.

It is true that these events would have shortly followed the first efforts from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to cultivate Trump and his “free” lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whom Trump “hired” (for free) in April.

At almost precisely that time, in April 2018, Ukraine stopped cooperating with Mueller on the Manafort prosecution, possibly in response to the approval of an export license for Javelin missiles, one of the same things Trump used again this summer to extort Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Trump’s efforts to fire Yovanovitch took place even while — in spite of Ukraine’s halt to their cooperation — things started going south for the President’s former campaign manager.

Parnas tried to downplay this last night, the degree to which — in addition to an attempt to attack Biden — this has always been an attempt to undermine Mueller. That’s probably because he can’t dismiss that as peer pressure, like he has with Yovanovitch. His efforts to undermine Mueller won’t endear him to Democrats. It would also raise questions about others who would want to undermine that investigation, particularly since he wasn’t working with Rudy yet.

But Parnas’ claims about Yovanovitch are fairly transparently false. He led. He did not follow. And the reasons why he did so probably conflict with the emphasis of this story — which he has currently placed precisely where it’ll be most enticing to Democrats — which is on Biden, not Mueller.

86 replies
  1. pop says:

    I am not sure why you are picking on this. What difference does this make? It’s obvious he worked for Firtash and Firtash has been after Biden for years. Of course he doesn’t want to make it about the work he did for the oligarch. This is about his interactions with Trump and how he was part of this. Firtash was/is paying this entire group: Toesing, Giuliani, and Lev. This Daily Beast article describes Firtash’s “beef” with Biden. https://www.thedailybeast.com/ukrainian-oligarch-dmytro-firtash-seethed-about-overlord-joe-biden-for-years

    Why are you so intent on discrediting him?!!! He sounds legit and provided docs. Plus the FBI had NOT spoken to him abt Yovanovitch. Which feels like Barr’s sticky fingers have been around this. What about Sammy The Bull Gravano? Isn’t Lev comparable? OF COURSE HE IS A CRIMINAL AND THAT’S THE POINT!!! He can provide the inside info.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there. Thanks for dropping in. Speaking of “why are you so intent”….where did you come from, and what is your angle? This is not the right place to just parachute into and spew bunk. That will not work here.

    • N.E. Brigand says:

      I don’t think Ms. Wheeler is “intent on discrediting” Parnas. It’s just that it’s apparent to her and many other observers (including some commentators who regularly disagree with her) that Parnas is consistently shading the truth to his own advantage.

      This reminds me of Ms. Wheeler’s concerns about the Steele dossier. Among other faults, she pointed out that Christopher Steele, perhaps led on by a source with ulterior motives, seems to have made too much of Carter Page. That in turn could have caused the FBI to miss other, more important figures until it was too late. Likewise Parnas has an agenda, and while he is probably presenting a lot of truth, if the media and Congressional Democrats don’t seriously consider his motivations, they too may be led away from key information.

      For example, Rachel Maddow failed to note in her interview that what Parnas said in the segment that aired tonight about Trump having demanded Yovanovitch’s firing as far back as April 2018 had already been reported, as Ms. Wheeler notes above: Parnas was telling what seems to be a true story, but largely repeating information that was already public. (Christopher Steele’s dossier, as Ms. Wheeler has noted, did the same thing.). As per Maddow’s own description following that clip, she seems not to have known this when she was interviewing Parnas. So audiences received the information about Trump trying to fire Yovanovitch as if it were new, when it would have been better for Maddow to treat that moment as a chance for Parnas to confirm the earlier reporting and then to build on it with some of the questions that Ms. Wheeler raises.

      • bmaz says:

        Is everything about Steele? It seems to be with you. Why is that? Inquiring minds want to know why that is almost always (i.e. every time but once) a part of your participation here. Do tell.

        • N.E. Brigand says:

          It was indeed Ms. Wheeler’s thoughtful skepticism about the Steele dossier that first brought her work to my attention about two years ago, but inasmuch as I think have only made a handful of comments here –all of, what, five or six times? (I haven’t been counting, but you seem to have been)– and I believe all the rest were in response to her long, smart post-FISA analysis of how Steele could have led people astray, I’m not sure I have enough of a track record to for it to be said that “everything” is about Steele for me, but to answer your question directly: no.

            • N.E. Brigand says:

              I aim to please! And I tried to do it in just one sentence.

              Seriously though, checking stats on the discussion forums where I regularly comment (I’m not on any modern social media like Facebook or Twitter), only one of which permits comments on political subjects –albeit that is the one where I have been most active since 2017– I’d estimate that I’ve mentioned Steele or his dossier in something less than one percent of my posts over the past three years.

              Anyway, the biggest news of the day for me has nothing to do with Trump at all but rather is the death of Christopher Tolkien (1924-2020). R.I.P.

          • Rugger9 says:

            The Steele Dossier was not part of any of Mueller’s indictments (nor Parnas’ bust for campaign finance violations) but it does provide something to scream about as a distraction. As EW noted before, Parnas as a witness is not useful, except that his documentation is and I will note that no one from the Palace has stepped up to try to discredit the docs, just the witness and otherwise ignoring stuff like the Giuliani letter.

            Even Steele got some stuff right and EW and the team here connected the relevant details well.

    • emptywheel says:


      You seem to have a very simplistic brain.

      I’m not discrediting him. I’m trying to understand where his story is shit, and where it’s not. It is, absolutely, shit on this point, and it undermines a number of other things he has said. He has receipts on other issues, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to figure out what he’s doing.

      • alcatraz says:

        I guess I am a little confused too about what the issue is. Of course the guy wants to endear himself to the public, make himself look good. That doesn’t take away from the information he has conveyed, which of course should all be followed up by further investigation. If he has more info about trying to undermine Mueller, I would think the Democrats would very much like to know about it.

        • Desider says:

          If he transparently lies, saying X started with Rudy, when he was doing X 8 months before, it certainly undermines his word on anything else. (Receipts are a bit different).
          And possibly like with Steele, there can be an effort to offer some easy bait up to swallow the whole hook and sinker. So are we being played, or why does Parnas’s info sound untrustworthy?

        • N.E. Brigand says:

          The issue is that because Parnas “wants to endear himself to the public”, he’s sometimes lying to the public, and we don’t know when he’s telling the truth and when he’s not without undertaking the kind of rigorous analysis Ms. Wheeler has been doing. In other words, his lies do indeed “take away from the information he has conveyed”.

        • timbo says:

          “Democrats”? Or every body who believes that Trump is a criminal grifter who the GOP (and their primary voter system) decided was better than any other alternative to being the nominee? Seriously, stop lumping in former GOPers, people on the left, in the center, etc, who are not members of the DP, as being unapposed to Trumpism and his grifter regime.

          • Desider says:

            Aargh, photos from the 2nd tweet (not 16 years old – someone misidentified, but still going back to inauguration or before).

            • Desider says:

              As I noted/corrected above, mean culpa.
              But here’s Trump saying he doesn’t know Parnas “at all” despite dozens of photos, including numerous 1-on-1’s with Donald and Parnas, along with Parnas with *Ivana*, Parnas with Jared and Ivanka, Parnas with Don Jr., etc.
              One of the feelings around Clinton’s impeachment, for many the most important, was that he “lied to the American people”, as enough to justify impeachment. And while I don’t automatically trust all Parnas says, these photos show a pair who obviously know each other, that Trump just told a whopper about guys picked up and charged just a couple months ago. But no blowback among his fanbase or the GOP.

    • John Hand says:

      One thing I learned by Marcy “picking on this”: I saw more clearly how deeply the golf community–here in the person of Jack Nicklaus III-is invested in the Trump presidency, and why I can’t stand local golfers, pro golfers, or Golf Channel any more.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        There are supposed to be sheep on them fairways. And the grazing contours should be more like the roughs. And all of the lawn-mowers should be permanently exiled to . . . Connecticut. [Absolutely no sprinklers. All trespassers welcome.]

    • J says:

      I wouldn’t call it an intent to discredit him.

      I think it’s just healthy skepticism in a terribly political climate. Real, good journalism demands an acuity toward the real, and not to the emotional. I’ve just found this blog and find that middle-ground take particularly refreshing.

  2. Marilyn Wood says:

    Lev isn’t saying anything at all about natural gas deals. I wonder if that’s the bottom line of why he (and the rest of them) hated Yovanovitch

    • viget says:


      This whole thing is about that. Parnas’ job was to land the plane with Trump and get both Yovanovich and Biden taken care of, and get Firtash cleared by Barr. This would allow Firtash and org crime take over the lucrative gas markets in Ukraine. Biden and Yovanovich have been fighting that for some time.

      Oh and in return, Firtash was gonna give Barr the “goods” on the Mueller investigation (something to do with Weissman and the Black Ledger), such that it would give Trump cover to pardon Manafort.

      It was a win win win all around, until it wasn’t.

      I think Parnas is blackmailing Trump and Barr and angling for them to drop the Firtash prosecution. Just pure spec on my part, please feel free to blast me bmaz.

      • Geoff says:

        In a similar way that Manafort was in debt and trying to wriggle out, lil’ grifter Lev was doing a similar dance. He wasn’t in nearly as deep, but he knew his past would catch up with him. Be suspicious of everything he says now, as he is clearly aware that job 1 is keeping Lev out of the slammer. See Michael Cohen’s performance for a weak interpretation. ;-)

        • Bri2k says:

          “In a similar way that Manafort was in debt and trying to wriggle out..”

          Debt pops up among a few of the players. Hyde (the guy reporting on watching the ambassador) owed back child support that was suddenly paid off.

          Untangling this thread could be a series of posts along the line of the golf course series we enjoyed.

          I liked the bit about who’s working for who. People seem to be forgetting that Parnas paid Rudy, not the other way around.

          Thank you EW crew for always helping me better understand the connections!

          • timbo says:

            Debt seems to pop up in almost >all< of the players here. If you're a foreign intelligence agency trying to move things in a "favorable direction" these would be the people to manipulate, particularly if those seem people in debt believe themselves to be good at manipulation. Heck, some or many of them might get the sense that they are puppets and even appreciate that "nod from above".

      • Vicks says:

        Blackmailing or perhaps just trolling?
        Either way, it seems incredibly bold to me, considering the power of the two men he has chosen to play games with.
        Has anyone else ever wondered what it would look like when Putin grew tired of Trump as his puppet and decided it was time for a new
        Do you think Trump or those riding on his coattails have ever thought about it?

        • Fran of the North says:

          When Putin no longer has use for this incarnation of Trump, rather than discard him entirely, he’ll put him in service in another way.

          Trump and minions have been supremely useful in driving a wedge between the US and our allies, dividing the U.S. population into warring camps, providing proof the international community that the U.S. has the moral equivalence of the worst nations instead of the best, and completely disemboweling the Republican party.

          However, at some point the true nature of the relationship will come out, and the expedient solution will be to expose the depth of the debauchery and criminality. At that point, expect all *sorts* of dirt to surface.

          The sad part is that when the extent of the crimes becomes apparent, the U.S. citizenry will convulse again, offering Putin more bang for his buck.

    • N.E. Brigand says:

      I hope we see a full transcript of the interview. Was Parnas not asked about the subject? That would be odd considering that Maddow recently published a book in which (she says) natural gas and Ukraine feature prominently. Or did she ask only to be told by Parnas’s lawyer that he wouldn’t discuss that subject?

        • N.E. Brigand says:

          Thanks! But that transcript of Maddow’s program from last night is not what I’m looking for. On both nights, she only showed clips of her interview with Parnas. What it would be helpful to see would be the full transcript of that interview, which presumably ran longer than what was aired.

          • anaphoristand says:

            I had the same thought, and have a request in to a staffer to find out whether that’s feasible under whatever agreement they came to with Lev and his counsel. I’ll post it here if I hear anything.

            • bmaz says:

              What kind of “staffer”? For Maddow?? Lol. Really? If there is a formal agreement in that regard, they are all bigger dumbasses than even I thought.

      • gmoke says:

        It’s all about keeping the Carbon Bubble inflated for as long as possible and then getting trillions of $$$$$ for the “stranded assets” that will have to be left on the ground. That’s why Putin (and MBS?) are funding authoritarian nationalists around the world.

        Haven’t read Maddow’s Blow Out book yet but every interview I’ve seen of her about it has her tiptoeing right up to this point and then backing away from it. Odd, that.

        Of course, climate has been my major concern for decades now so I may be prejudiced.

  3. P J Evans says:

    Parnas may be trying to minimize his role in hopes of getting a lighter sentence – or of not becoming a dead prisoner at MCC. He seems to want to be a big shot at the same time. Bad idea: choose one or the other, and tell the truth.
    His interviews, and the docs he’s provided, do seem to indicate that there’s a lot more to find out, particularly at higher levels of government. (Barr and Pompeo would probably like him to disappear tomorrow.)

    • oripnATL says:

      p.j. –

      if i understand correctly (and i don’t always 😣), i think this is exactly what parnas and his attorney are up to. rather than keep quiet and be unforgivingly locked away for years as part of trump’s corruption (while trump walks away Scott free and the more famous for it – think the murderous jessie james), parnas’ plan is to side with the clean up crew. i think that is a smart decision and the only way hole in the chainlink fence for parnas.

  4. Eureka says:

    I feel like Dana Carvey’s Church Lady should be doing the Lev interviews: Isn’t is conveeeenient [that you show us this hand to hide another].

  5. Frank Probst says:

    He’s clearly trying to minimize his own guilt and maximize the damage to other people. He was very involved in the whole Ukraine scandal, and he’s got photos, docs, and now videos to toss out when other people claim they’ve never seen him or spoken to him. I think that MOST of what he’s saying is true, and he’s being careful to include a bunch of details in his story that support his narrative and are confirmed by documentary evidence.

    I think his angle is to give a fairly accurate story of what he did and what he knows that others did, and he’s setting traps for some of the players that he can spring when they say they’ve never seen him or spoken to him. (Seriously, Devin? He called you on your cell phone. That’s a phone number that not many people should have.) The more people he trips up, the more credible he becomes. I think the White House is having a hard time refuting him, because he’s in so many pictures with so many people in Trump’s orbit. Where I think he’s lying, or at least grossly exaggerating, is in the inclusion of some people (Bill Barr, and tonight even Lindsey Graham) who probably weren’t very involved, if they were involved at all. I think he’s trying to throw Barr’s name out as many times as he can, because I think that Barr is that only reason he hasn’t gotten a plea deal from the SDNY, and Barr is hell-bent on not recusing himself from any of this. I think the President screwed the pooch on that one when he mentioned Barr in his “perfect” phone call, and Parnas is adding him to lists of names in descriptions of vague situations that he knows Barr can’t prove that he wasn’t involved in. Lindsey Graham probably got thrown in there as icing on the cake, because Graham’s been so unbelievably hypocritical about Trump’s impeachment compared to how he acted with Clinton’s, and Graham’s has been so comically rabid about the whole Trump impeachment that many people are going to say “Aha!” now that Parnas has put him into the narrative.

    • P J Evans says:

      A lot of those people, if they come clean about meeting Parnas, have to also come clean about why they met him, and why they didn’t talk to Mueller and the FBI about it when this all started blowing up. That could really be embarrassing for Nunes and McCarthy with their holier-than-thou positions.

      • bmaz says:

        Yes. Very much so. And Frank has a pretty solid bead on it. I think. Although I am honestly not sure what the hell he and Bondy are doing, it looks completely bizarre to me.

        • MB says:

          I don’t understand Bondy either. It looks like he’s either staring fixedly at Rachel while she’s talking or maybe looking at a TV monitor that’s out of view. He’s not sitting close enough to step on Parnas’ foot in case he starts to say something out of bounds. I’m assuming the interview took place at Bondy’s office, which must have an open window somewhere because I heard traffic sounds in the background.

    • Eureka says:

      Even if he were saying true things (amidst some obvious falsehoods), the most important issue here as to disinformation is that they are biased, partial true things.

      This is how I measure disinformation campaigns: is it the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

      I find that to be a handy initial gauge, before layering in things like point-of-view and so forth.

      (And partial truths can be so misleading. Like a diabetic reporting their intake of protein & fat-based items, vegetables, fruits, etc., while omitting several sugar hauls. And yet what they say is true.)

  6. MelissaN says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but why would removing Yavanovich be so important in undermining the Mueller investigation?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Yovanovitch had to go to clear Firtash’s way to supplant Burisma with Gazprom if I am reading the story correctly. SHe really didn’t have anything to do with Mueller. Remember that Individual-1 has many irons in the fire including with the IRGC in Azerbaijan. The general corruption and love of grifting would be the true linkage, the rest are details.

      Can we say the word that rhymes with “Nico” yet, bmaz? Except for the veneer of government authority, the Yovanovitch story makes the Palace look like the Sopranos importing extra Fredos to muck things up.

    • Eureka says:

      In part, because Yovanovitch knew the *true* corruption landscape there (where it was formal US policy to oppose same / support reform), and removing her and her institutional knowledge and relationships was an important cog towards more freely* extorting the new Zelensky government to announce or cook up fake investigations (and “the Crowdstrike server” sic) that would help frame Ukraine and the dems for the 2016 election interference that was done by RU with GOP cooperation. Thus, RU-GOP could declare that, hey, not only was Mueller a bust — but look, we found the true culprit and an allied government is investigating. FUDdy the waters… (throw in some “partisan” “both sides” BS for good measure).

      In hypothetical other words, they were busy smearing her, then removing her, because — had she remained and been unable to thwart their schemes in realtime (i.e., had she had no one left at State Dept. to heed her alarms)– she likely would have turned into our first whistleblower, IMO.

      Pro-corruption forces of many nationalities and motives were not her fans.

      *Imagine how scared pro-reform Ukrainians, or at least those who feared the Trump-RU squeeze, were to see the US dismantle an honest Ambassadorial effort? And thank heavens the schemers fucked up in recruiting Bill Taylor for the lesser charge d’affaires (~replacement) position.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      MelissaN asked, “. . . why would removing Yovanovitch be so important in undermining the Mueller investigation?”

      I’m guessing that Barr, Durham and Giuliani might be interested in trying to make good on the otherwise crazy conspiracy theory espoused by John Soloman that somehow, someway the Democrats supposedly colluded with Ukrainian anti-corruption activists to frame poor Paul Manafort with the black ledger so as to interfere in the 2016 U. S. election against Trump.

      I have reason to believe that I lose significant amounts of brain function every time I try to explain one of these right-wing conspiracy theories in an English sentence.

      I have no idea how much brain function the readers of such sentences lose. (Unless Trump’s cult followers are any indication of the brain death that John Soloman would impose upon all of us.)

  7. MattyG says:

    A paragraph mostlu of questions but are we finally seeing the Kremlin call in what EW has observantly termed “the receipts”? Has Putin has calculated DT can either weather the Ukraine storm (courtesy KGB) or that it doesn’t matter at this point if he can’t? So he has turned to gently “twisting the screws” to see how this mess plays out? And might this might be a sign Putin no longer needs or wants an obsequious fawning DTs at his beck and call? Is Putin pulling a DT here?

  8. flounder says:

    Parnas tell that he was a leader, and not just hired muscle is how indignant and visibly pissed he gets when he recounts Trump’s lawyers trying to make him the fall guy, instead of working to cut him a deal.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Yes! And–if Lev is being truthful about that particular episode–then there’s your connection to Manafort for you, too–(Dowd and Downing). What was Manafort’s lawyer, Downing, doing there in the room with one of Trump’s lawyers, Dowd, and Parnas?

      When did Lev Parnas find out about Manafort’s ongoing schemes to cede Luhansk and Donnetz to Russia?

  9. laura says:

    I’m glad to read your critical analysis of these interviews. However, I don’t understand why you think that Lev Parnas’ statement that his opinion of ambassador Yovanovitch was influenced by his entourage was inconsistent with his behavior in 2018, in particular his behavior bad-mouthing the ambassador to the president. While the truthfulness of these statements has yet to be seen, they wouldn’t be inconsistent if Parnas’ 2018 entourage included people who wanted to get the ambassador out of the way for other reasons and encouraged him to go along. I didn’t hear the specific comment you are referring to. Did he name any names?

  10. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    I do not like any of this one bit. I look forward to the inevitable deep dives from EW checking his story and timeline against the public record. As all journalists should be doing

    We saw this during the height of Meuller-mania – Ghouliana or Dowd leaks juicy but false or misleading tidbits to the stenographers at NYT, just so they could shoot it down later and by extension discredit the later revealed truth.

    “Look over here! You looked? You’re wrong and this is why!”

    Motive is the biggest thing, and nothing on natural gas like others mentioned…

    I don’t like it! Thanks for covering with a critical eye.

    • Eureka says:

      Oh, your comment begets a great question: what _are_ known NYT stenographers saying about all this? That’s a great way to suss “the White House’s” concerns…

        • dude says:

          I thought any Ambassador could be removed from post by the President just making a telephone call and saying so (“serve at the pleasure of the President” logic). If that is true, what difference does it make if Pompeo were in place or not?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Yes, ambassadors can be recalled by their sponsoring government at any time. It is unusual, as it upsets relationships that require a lot of time, effort, talent, and consistency to nurture.

            What is more unusual here is that – wanting to replace Yovanovitch because her anti-coorruption efforts were getting in the way of Trump’s corruption – Trump did not just tell Pompeo to replace her. He and
            his team bent over backwards to hide and lie about their efforts.

            Part of that can be put down to Trump’s need to humiliate publicly, here by inventing inadequacies that “forced” the administration to act. Part of that is signaling to counterparts that Trump was trashing anti-corruption efforts, not just Yovanovitch. But none of that is necessary unless your purposes are illegitimate. That virtually proves guilty knowledge and wrongdoing.

  11. ChuckM says:

    Quick delurk to throw this out:
    Anyone notice the simultaneous political changes in Russia lately?
    Frustrating, right?

    • Bri2k says:

      I’m not sure about “frustrating”. My understanding is this was a necessary maneuver so Putin can change the constitution and stay in office another term. I haven’t seen anything about how this sits with the average Russian but I wonder how they feel about it.

  12. Eureka says:

    OT: some screenshots of journalists’ accounts of the (? unanticipated) problems they are having with the Capitol impeachment-related restrictions:

    Chris Megerian: “This is out of control [screenshots]

    Also heard on CNN overnight that there were 11 US casualties (all injuries, I believe) from the Iran bombing of our Iraq base (concussions/TBI given as examples).

  13. acerimusdux says:


    “Rudy Giuliani met with disgraced Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko in January 2018. And during the meeting, Giuliani called President Trump to patch him in.

    This is a third-hand story given by the former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. She did not claim to have seen this happen, only that one of her aides had been told this by a Ukrainian deputy prosecutor named Yevhen Yenin.”

    I think Parnas was getting it from Giuliani, who got it from Lutsenko. Possibly “the team” was even already active by the time Giuliani was officially hired by Trump in April 2018.

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    I love Nancy.
    All roads lead to Russia.
    “Ominia Gallia in tres partes divisa est”
    No getting around it.
    Putin, Trump, and $

      • bmaz says:

        There was no long pause. There was no master stroke by Pelosi. The whole story is complete bullshit. The two lame articles she permitted were voted out late on December 18, 2019 and Congress promptly left town, not to return until January 7, 2020 and have been in session a whole seven days since. The hagiography of Pelosi is laughable.

        • Jenny says:

          “I can’t help thinking that this would be a better world if everyone would listen to me …”
          Lucy Van Pelt

        • orionATL says:

          bmaz, we’ve been thru this before. we have a difference of opinion for sure.

          i’s say it is a good bet that in her adult life Nancy Pelosi has more experience in high-level, high-stakes politics in any decade of that life than you have had in the entirety of yours.

          while not the sharpest knife, dana milbank applies some nice sarcasm to the “nancy pelosi does not know what she is doing” yammer:


          and, with the hindsight history helpfully provides, there is this:


          the most intellectually competent and caring democratic candidate in the race, elizabeth warren, is now being met with snake hashtags afyer daring to say that one of her competitors told her a woman could not win against trump.

          so it goes,

          • Desider says:

            Bmaz’s very simple point here is that while Pelosi and others talked about or threatened a delay, there was very little delay. Whether that was clever or surrender, due to Iran or Mitch not having the votes or getting Parnas’s docs or some other reason, praising everything Pelosi does as 13D chess isn’t needed.
            Still, I like her “Do you also paint houses?” as the new theme of this crooked administration, even though I guess I’m one of the few to dislike Scorsese’s film.

            • bmaz says:

              The “Do you also paint houses?” line was some seriously awesome by Pelosi. But, yes, your first paragraph is exactly what I have been saying in general.

            • orionATL says:

              desider –

              glad your’re back. i hadn’t seen you much since bmaz reamed you out.

              a month is not a delay? whatever time could be stolen from herr mcconnel’s agenda – deep-six media coverage of the impeachment – has not been critical? (see vicks immediately below and jenny above).

              most people, myself included, understand pelosi practices high-stakes, high-level politics, not “3d chess”. that’s your calculated demeaning term. it does not fit here and you should know better.

              • bmaz says:

                When Congress was not even in session for 80% of that time, no, it is not any delay at all. Nobody stole anybody’s “agenda”. Lol.

      • Vicks says:

        Dumb luck?
        I’ve always believe you have to create your own luck.
        Either intentional or not, by leaving things to percolate over what was arguably the holiday break “Nancy” created the time and space for a shit ton of things to develop.
        With the exception of the target she made of herself I’m not seeing a downside to her strategy?

  15. Leila512 says:

    INAL, and have a few questions, if any of you can answer:
    1) Have any US Senators/Congresspeople formally asked Barr to recuse from Firtash affair & SDNY investigations? If not, why not?
    2) Can/is Barr stifling these investigations? If so, what is he likely doing?
    3) Ukraine has opened an investigation into our Ambassador’s possible illegal surveillance and has requested FBI help. Can Barr block FBI assistance in order to further any coverup, will he, and if so likely how?
    4) Why hasn’t the HSPCI focused on the Naftgaz storyline that intersects with these other nefarious motivations and activities? (I don’t recall that they have)

    Thanks in advance…

    • timbo says:

      A bigger question is whether or not he’s violated various laws, such as the Hatch Act, etc. The elephant in the room is that he believes that he is the law as AG.

  16. Brian Buchbinder says:

    I’d like to hear your take on Parnas’ dismissal of the seriousness of the “stalking” of the Ambassador (perhaps by Hyde, but were there others?) . My guess as I watched was that Parnas was a bit deeper into that than he let on, and that he’s protecting himself against a much more serious charge of threatening an ambassador? And was he the person who gave the hint to the staffer who called the Ambassador in the wee hours to tell her (while claiming there was no physical threat) to be on the next plane? What other sort of threat would entail such urgency?

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