Here's Your Lev Parnas Rachel Maddow Recap, OH MY GOD
WOW. We do not know what exactly we were expecting when we sat down to watch Rachel Maddow's interview with Rudy Giuliani's good old pal Lev Parnas last night, but it turned out to be not that. First of all, we might call him a chucklefuck around these parts, but he did not come across as chucklefuck! He was calm, well-spoken, thoughtful, and dare we say, he seemed credible, at least for a person currently indicted by the SDNY related to Trump and Giuliani's scheme to defraud the United States out of another free and fair election by trying to force Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden to help Donald Trump.
It was an hour-long interview (and there's a second hour tonight!) and it was just headline after headline after headline, and every single thing Parnas said needs to be investigated to determine its veracity. So take it with a grain of salt! That said, we can look at what we know -- and also the things Wonkette is pretty sure we've figured out along the way -- to see how much it lines up. Spoiler, it lines up a heck of a lot. In fact, Parnas didn't say anything that surprised us, at least not because it made us think of the situation in a new way. Our jaw was on the floor for a full hour more because we were sitting there going, "JUST LIKE WE FUCKING SAID!"
The interview paints Donald Trump as a person who knew exactly what was going on, because he was directing it all from the top. It also implicates Mike Pence, who, according to Parnas, was tasked to do Trump's dirty work pressuring Ukraine to announce fake investigations into Joe Biden starting a long time ago. And regarding that pressure, Parnas says that going all the way back before Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected in a landslide on an anti-corruption platform, getting that Biden investigation announcement was the only motivation for every single thing they did.
Oh yeah, and Attorney General Bill Barr needs to call his lawyer.
Before we jump into clips from the show, though, one of the most interesting parts to us happened at the end, as Maddow handed off to Lawrence O'Donnell for the 10 p.m. hour and he asked the question on so many people's minds, which is why the hell is Lev Parnas doing this? Why is he going on Maddow and spilling? How does this help him or his case? Maddow said the feeling she got from talking to Parnas is that by him coming clean and spilling everything he knows, it keeps him "safer" than if he didn't, because if his secrets were still his secrets, we guess it'd be a lot easier to dispose of him and them. It's kinda sick that we're talking about this in the United States of America, but this is a scandal partially financed by a Ukrainian billionaire the FBI has assessed to be BFFs with the Russian mob, so, we guess we understand what he is saying.
Trump Fuckin' Knew EVERYTHING.
Lev Parnas: 'President Trump Knew Exactly What Was Going On.' | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com
At the beginning of the interview, Parnas got it out of the way, saying that the biggest lie out there right now is "that the president didn't know what was going on. He knew exactly what was going on." Parnas said everything he did was with the full knowledge and direction of Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, and said that's the secret they're trying to keep under wraps, that he was "on the ground, doing their work." As for Donald Trump's contention that Trump doesn't even know who he is, "he lied." (The fuck you say!)
This tracks with what was revealed in the first tranche of texts released this week, where Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow got Trump to sign off on his former lawyer John "Comic Sans" Dowd initially representing Parnas. You know, because you always have to waive conflict of interest when your old lawyer signs up to rep a perfect stranger.
Parnas said part of how he'd get in with people in Ukraine to do Trump and Giuliani's dirty work is he'd get Rudy Giuliani on the speaker phone so Giuliani could confirm that Parnas was there on behalf of Trump, the literal actual American president. Parnas also said that, like impeachment witness David Holmes, he heard Rudy Giuliani speak on the phone with Trump a number of times, and it was easy to tell it was Trump on the phone because Trump is RUDE LOUD BALLS on the phone.
And what was this all about? Not "corruption," LOLOLOL. Parnas said, "It was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden," and that Rudy Giuliani had a "personal thing" about investigating the Ukrainian black ledger that exposed all those illicit payments to Paul Manafort from pro-Russian Ukrainian interests. (You know, because if Manafort WUZ FRAMED, then ergo ipso facto Trump WUZ FRAMED!) Indeed, Parnas confirmed that "the only motivation" for the firing of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was that she was in the way of Ukraine doing corrupt fake Biden investigations.
Parnas added that it wasn't even ever specifically about Burisma, which tracks with what we know because anybody who believes Trump was really concerned about fighting corruption in a random Ukrainian energy company is a goddamn idiot.
And as the impeachment witnesses testified, "Burisma" was code for "Biden," so all of this tracks.
'Everyone Was In The Loop,' And Oh Shit Mike Pence, CALL YOUR LAWYER!
Parnas told a story about being in Kiev around Sunday, May 12, 2019, when he was tasked with delivering a message to Sergey Shefir, an aide to then-incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Parnas says Giuliani wanted it to be a "harsh message" to let Zelenskyy know that if he didn't announce fake investigations into the Bidens, all fuckin' bets were off with his relationship with the Trump administration. The military aid? "It wasn't just military aid, it was all aid. The relationship would be sour," said Parnas.
And if Zelenskyy didn't do what they wanted? If they didn't announce bullshit Biden investigations? Well, Trump hadn't pulled the aid yet at that point -- that would come later in the summer -- but the message was, among other things, that nobody would show up for Zelenskyy's inauguration. Weird, then, that Mike Pence's trip to the Zelenskyy inaugural was canceled the next day.
What Parnas said tracked with impeachment witnesses who testified to the dire importance of the United States showing up for the new Ukrainian president against the backdrop of Ukraine's war with Russia. He said at that point, things like a White House visit, a big American showing at the inauguration, were even more important than any aid.
So anyway, Parnas said Giuliani told him what to tell Shefir, the Ukrainians told them to fuck off, and Rudy responded, according to Parnas, "They'll see." (OOH BIG MOB GUY WE ARE FOR SCARED!)
And the next day, looks like they did see! Pence canceled the trip, Parnas says "100 percent" because Ukraine wouldn't announce the investigations. In confirming that Pence knew, or Parnas believes he knew, Parnas said, "I'm going to use a famous quote from [Gordon] Sondland: Everyone was in the loop."
Parnas noted that later on, after the famous "I'd like you to do us a favor though" July 25 phone call, it was Pence who was tasked with going to Poland in early September to continue pressuring Zelenskyy. This was after Trump had put a hold on all the military aid, and tracks with an unredacted email obtained by Just Security that features a senior Defense Department official opining that he's pretty sure this whole Ukraine aid hold business will be fixed after Pence goes to Poland. Parnas doesn't know exactly what Pence said to Zelenskyy, but he is not here for the LOL that Pence had no idea what was going on.
Oh yeah, and remember how Donald Trump famously canceled that trip to Poland because he had important presidential duties drawing dicks on hurricane maps? Parnas says that was just an excuse (surprise!) and that Trump was just super-fucking pissed at Zelenskyy for still refusing to announce fake Biden investigations, and he knows this because he and Rudy "spoke about this every day."
We imagine the dick-drawing-on-hurricane-maps part was just icing on the cake for Trump.
Oh, and about the decision to hold the aid in the first place? Parnas is pretty sure that was Trump freelancing, because at that point he and Giuliani had been trying to get their fake-ass Biden investigation announcement for months and months, and still couldn't get it. (Remember that just before the whistleblower happened and Trump got caught in September, the Zelenskyy administration was indeed finally preparing to make such an announcement on CNN with Fareed Zakaria.)
John Bolton, Time To Give The Senate A Mustache Ride!
OK please not literally, John Bolton, the Senate is a hallowed institution!
But Parnas did say of Bolton that he knows everything, "He has a lot to say," and "He's a key witness." Parnas said Bolton was "butting heads" with Rudy Giuliani on everything "from Venezuela to Ukraine" -- because Giuliani was freelancing in Venezuela too, why the fuck not -- and obviously knows what was going on with all the various "drug deals."
Oh wait, "drug deals" wasn't Parnas's quote, it was John Bolton's, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN IN THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, JOHN BOLTON.
Dunno If Dmitry Firtash Gives Mustache Rides Because We Don't Know If He Has A Mustache
OK. Time to talk about Dmitry Firtash, the Ukrainian billionaire oligarch connected to all this, who appears to be bankrolling a lot of it, who is under a massive bribery/fraud indictment out of Chicago and living in Vienna trying to evade extradition, and whom the FBI assesses to be a high-level associate of Semion Mogilevich, the head of the Russian mob.
Look, we figured this out ages ago. Here are some words we wrote about Firtash in October:
Giuliani went on TV recently and shook around a quote unquote "affidavit" full of lies about Biden, a sworn statement from [former corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor general] Viktor Shokin, which specifically said it was provided to lawyers for Dmitry Firtash. Hey, that's weird! As Maddow reported, Giuliani has admitted to getting this shit from Firtash.
Recently added to Dmitry Firtash's legal team of real lawyers fighting his extradition to America? Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing. Yes, the two weird-ass rat-haired Fox News lawyers most recently seen on Wonkette calling Trey Gowdy a rat-haired weird-ass! According to the Wall Street Journal, DiGenova/Toensing hired Lev Parnas this summer, allegedly to be their Ukrainian interpreter so they could talk to Firtash. You bet! "INTERPRETER." [...] All of these dipshits are hiring the same lawyers for SOME reason.
Liz also wrote about this profusely, also back in October. She even made you a chart:
OK, so back to the Parnas interview. Remember those notes released in the evidence this week, where Parnas chicken-scratched out the entire criminal conspiracy on the notepad at the Ritz in Vienna? (Best. Criminals. Ever.) Parnas told Maddow he was taking those notes on the phone, with Rudy Giuliani.
And Parnas also told Maddow what we figured out ages ago, which was the how and why of the criminal conspiracy with Dmitry Firtash. You see, Firtash really wants his American indictment and extradition threat to go bye-bye, and turns out Trump, Giuliani and the hairballs wanted something from Firtash too!
Parnas described a meeting with the hairballs and disgraced conspiracy theorist "journalist" John Solomon, who said they had "incredible information from the Firtash camp" that would "blow up this Mueller investigation." And Lev's job -- we always knew it wasn't just "translator" -- was to establish a relationship with Firtash to get that sweet-ass information.
The entire scheme, according to Parnas, was that Firtash would give them info both to discredit the Mueller investigation and also gin up fake dirt on Biden and also lean on Ukraine to announce Biden investigations, and in return, the law firm of Roodles, Hairballs And Chucklefuck would get the DOJ to drop the case against Firtash.
We figured this out ages ago, like we said. Wonkette isn't always right, but let's be honest, we usually are.
Lev Thinks Robert F. Hyde Is A Fucking Idiot
Parnas has thoughts about Robert F. Hyde, the guy who shows up in his WhatsApps and appears to say he has then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch under some kind of surveillance, maybe possibly. He told Maddow ... well, he told Maddow that Hyde is fucking bugfuck, and that he didn't really take seriously Hyde's texts about stalking Yovanovitch, noting as we have that he pretty much LOLed all of those texts, when he wasn't ignoring them. Parnas says he really doesn't think Yovanovitch was actually ever in any danger, and later in the interview personally apologized to her for telling Trump she had badmouthed him, which he no longer believes happened.
Parnas met Hyde at the Trump Hotel, which he called a "breeding ground" for hangers-on, describing him as a drunk who was a "regular at the bar." He says Hyde didn't really know Trump or Giuliani, but he definitely knew lesser dickbags like Kevin McCarthy and Roger Stone. Parnas says dude is "always drunk," like he's never seen him not drunk, and that it's completely reasonable to assume that a full week of texts from that dude are drunk texts, because he is literally that drunk.
We don't know if this is all true, and we also don't know if it's a lie. However, the mere fact that there are text messages where a Connecticut weirdo landscape contractor "governmental relations" company guy and political candidate is talking about tracking the whereabouts of the ambassador to Ukraine and getting somebody to do something to Yovanovitch in exchange for money, well, that mere fact is bad. Here is a tweet that we agree with!
The point is that, serious or not, this needs to be fucking investigated.
TIME TO RESIGN IN SHAME, BILL BARR!
So what of Bill Barr's involvement in this? Why did he show up in the READ TEH TRJDAK;JSKJDSIPT, where Trump told President Zelenskyy he should really get with Giuliani and Bill Barr about "I would like you to do us a favor, though"?
Parnas says Barr was "basically on the team" with Giuliani and Trump and the hairballs. "They were all best friends." Parnas says Barr "had to have known everything" about Giuliani's scheme to get Ukraine to announce the fake Biden investigations, and was probably only pissed his name showed up in the READ TEH TRJKA;JSKDJVFIPT! because he was mad Trump was saying that out loud.
And Finally, FUCKING DEVIN!
Hey, remember when Adam Schiff released all those phone records during the impeachment hearings, and we suddenly learned that DEVIN NUNES'S name was in there communicating with Parnas? You know, Devin Nunes who sat up there in the impeachment hearings spreading Russian propaganda? Because of how he is literally the GOP ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee?
Parnas says he and Fucking Devin aren't besties or anything, but they met at the Trump Hotel (see: "breeding ground"), and because Fucking Devin had some sort of "ethics committee" issue (to say the least) and "couldn't be in the spotlight," Parnas was put together with Nunes's dumbfucking aide Derek Harvey, because Nunes and others were all conveniently doing the same work to gin up fake Ukrainian evidence against Joe Biden and to exonerate Russia for its 2016 election attack -- just like Trump and Giuliani and Vladimir Putin are! And that, according to Parnas, is why Harvey shows up in those phone logs too. A LOT.
Parnas says when he saw both Devin Nunes and Derek Harvey sitting up there during the impeachment hearings, he was "in shock" and "[couldn't] believe this is happening," because "they were involved in getting all this stuff on Biden."
Dear Republicans: When Rudy Giuliani's chucklefuck is watching the impeachment and going "Um you guys the Republicans are being maybe kinda sorta unethical," YOU ARE MAYBE IN TROUBLE.
When we first learned of Fucking Devin's connection to Lev Parnas and this entire criminal conspiracy, he was VERY CONFUSE and could not remember. PAR-NASS, YOU SAY? He dun' know no PAR-NASS!
He remembers now, thank heavens! In fact he remembered yesterday afternoon on Fox News to Martha MacCallum, before the Rachel interview even aired.
"I just didn't know the name – this name 'Par-nas,'" Nunes said. "You know now that he had called my cellphone and I didn't know his name, I didn't remember the name, but I did remember going back where I was at the time – you can do that now, you actually know where you physically are – checked it with my records."
Oh, that PAR-NASS! You were talking about that PAR-NASS? Devin remembers talking to that PAR-NASS now. It was totally random! Definitely not part of a criminal conspiracy Nunes was participating in for the benefit of Trump and Putin. Wait, PAR-NASS, you say?
There's a whole 'nother hour of Lev Parnas interview tonight on Rachel, y'all.
Who else is on their way under the bus? (Mike Pompeo, it is Mike Pompeo. And probably more!)
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