We'll give you three guesses as to the identity of the mystery benefactor who deposited $1 million in Lev Parnas's wife's account this fall.

No, it wasn't Santa Claus.

Not the Tooth Fairy, either.

DING DING DING!!! That's right, it was Dmitry Firtash, the Ukrainian natural gas oligarch trying to trade Biden dirt to the Justice Department to get it to drop an order to extradite him to the US to face bribery charges. How ever did you figure that one out? Was it the CNN story about Parnas bragging that he was "the best-paid interpreter in the world" after Firtash started raining money down on him? That was what Agatha Christie might have called A CLUE.


But how did you know that Firtash's hairball lawyer Victoria Toensing was ahem mistaken when she called it a "crock" and promised, "No money has been paid to Mr. Parnas by Mr. Firtash beyond his work as a translator for the law firm?" That money also wound up in Svetlana Parnas's checking account, and it was $200,000, not the $50,000 Parnas originally reported. But anyway, who could anticipate that such a credible attorney would make a mistake about a possible money laundering scheme involving her high-paying client and the fixer she's been working with for months to gin up dirt on Joe Biden? It's all so very unexpected!

AHEM.

As Talking Points Memo reported, the big Firtash reveal took place at a bail hearing yesterday where Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy admitted that the money had come from an account in Russia held by Firtash's Dubai-based attorney Ralph Oswald Isenegger in five increments of $200,000 each during September. While Bondy characterized the payments as an unsecured "loan," Assistant US Attorney Rebekah Donaleski argued that no one lends $1 million to an unemployed mother of five with less than $250,000 in assets to her name. Bondy conceded that the loan was "loosely papered," but responded that he did not "pretend to understand how the extremely wealthy do their business." We are old enough to remember when other extremely wealthy pro-Russian businessmen wired cash to Paul Manafort, who also characterized it as a loan to avoid paying income tax on it. Which is why that guy's in jail now -- get well soon, little buddy!

Would Parnas's wealthy benefactor's strange business proclivities extend to helping his extremely valuable translator skip bail? Certainly not, Bondy assured the court, "He has burned those bridges," and "has no interest in continuing the relationship." Because Lev Parnas is an upstanding member of the community, who would never associate with known criminals who send a million dollars in cash to his wife five minutes before he refuses to testify to Congress. He's got enough friends, thankyouverymuch!

Amazingly, Judge J. Paul Oetken found that Parnas wasn't a sufficient flight risk to warrant revoking his bail. But don't worry, because if Parnas flees, it will be straight to DC so he can patriotically tell Adam Schiff all about the shady shit he did with Rudy Giuliani and Devin Nunes to protect Donald Trump and frame Joe Biden.

"If he was trying to go anywhere, it would be to go to Washington DC and speak to Congress," Bondy told the court. Because if there's one thing Lev Parnas cares about, it's faithfully carrying out civic duty. You bet!

[TPM / NBC]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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