Lev Parnas wants to unload his dirt on Rudy Giuliani to federal prosecutors, his lawyer says
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani in his Ukraine endeavors, "completed his break with the White House on Wednesday, asserting for the first time in public that the president was fully aware of the efforts to dig up damaging information on his behalf," The New York Times reported late Wednesday. And Parnas said through his lawyer that he's now eager to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan who are investigating Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, and Giuliani's Ukraine dealings now at the center of Trump's impeachment.
Parnas was arrested in October on tangentially related campaign finance charges, and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have both his case and the so-far-unannounced Giuliani investigation. "We very much want to be heard in the Southern District," Parnas' lawyer Joseph Bondy told the Times. "We very much want to provide substantial assistance to the government." Parnas has provided evidence already to federal prosecutors and House impeachment investigators, and he spoke with both the Times and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday.
Parnas told Maddow that "Trump knew exactly what was going on." He told the Times that while he met with the president several times, he knows Trump was aware of the Ukraine efforts mostly because Giuliani showed him so. He provided some evidence to back that up. "I am betting my whole life that Trump knew exactly everything that was going on that Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine," Parnas said.
Parnas also said he regrets his involvement in the Ukraine affair and "trusting so much" in Giuliani, who is a godfather to his son. "I thought I was being a patriot and helping the president," he told the Times, and he "thought by listening to the president and his attorney that I couldn't possibly get in trouble or do anything wrong." Giuliani texted the Times that Parnas is "a proven liar," suggested he's turning over evidence for "attention," and claimed it's "sad to watch how the Trump haters are using" him.