Parnas, in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night, said Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce investigations against a political foe, former Vice President Joe Biden, were hampered by Yovanovitch.
Police in Ukraine are investigating the possible surveillance of former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, the country's Interior Ministry announced Thursday. Whether the messages reflected a real surveillance and targeting campaign against former Ambassador Yovanovitch, directed by Robert Hyde, a Trump donor now running for U.S. Congress in CT, remains unclear.
The president has described his call with Zelensky as "perfect" and said he was just trying to root out corruption in the country before releasing millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine.
"She's not a simple fool. but she's not getting away", Mr. Parnas replied. Months later, Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Yovanovitch was "bad news" and "she's going to go through some things."
Parnas appears to have been referring to an allegation, peddled by Solomon in July, that Weismann offered exactly the same arrangement in which Parnas claims to have been involved: "Give us some dirt on Donald Trump in the Russian Federation case, and Team Mueller might make his 2014 USA criminal charges go away".
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
"There seems to be documentation that would validate what Parnas is saying", she added, "but that all has to be subjected to scrutiny".
The note is an ink scribble on letterhead from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna.
The ministry said investigators were examining whether any laws had been broken or if the messages had simply been "bravado". Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company based in Ukraine. In both interviews, Parnas said he had been the point man for the blackmail conspiracy.
The Arkansas Republican told "Fox & Friends" that Parnas coming forward with allegations "hardly" changes anything in the impeachment case against Trump, calling it a "stunt" by the Democrats to help their "partisan hatchet job".
The Soviet-born Parnas, who has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan on charges of violating campaign finance laws, said the president and Giuliani ensured that he would have access to top Ukrainian officials. But, they conveniently benefitted Firtash, who would be safe from a US extradition warrant in his home country of Ukraine, and the Trump team, which wanted to see more dirt on Biden.
However, if senior officials learned of the emails and took them seriously, it could explain why Ms. Yovanovitch was removed abruptly from her post and told to take the next plane out to the U.S.as a matter of her own safety.
"Trump knew what was going on how?"
But in order for Parnas and his cohort to hold up their end of the bargain with Firtash, they would need cooperation from the Justice Department and Attorney General Barr. He has signaled that he wants to testify in the impeachment trial, but it's not clear whether the Senate will vote to call him as a witness - especially given that he is under indictment and not a reliable narrator.
USA diplomats have reacted to the revelations with dismay and to the lack of public support for their colleague with disappointment.
FILE - In this December 2, 2019, file photo, Lev Parnas arrives at court in NY.
After texting about the ambassador, Hyde gave Parnas location updates over the course of a week. "Please don't tell anyone I can't get the crooked Ambassador fired or I did three times and she's still there". "Her computer is off".
What about the former USA ambassador? "I'll get right in that", Hyde wrote in an encrypted message to Parnas.
The text messages show that Parnas consulted Giuliani in January 2019 after the USA denied a visa to former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. "I mean, it's impossible", Parnas said.