A lawyer for Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani who is now cooperating with the House Intelligence Committee, on Saturday said his client has more recordings of the president.
The revelation comes after Parnas, who has been indicted on charges of campaign finance violations, released a recording this week of Trump calling for former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanavitch’s ouster. The recording was made at the Trump International Hotel by Igor Fruman, another former associate of Giuliani who has likewise been indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Trump recalled Yovanavitch as the Ukraine ambassador in April 2019.
Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Parnas’ lawyer Joseph A. Bondy confirmed there are more recordings beyond the one Parnas made public on Friday, and noted that “perhaps” Parnas will release the other audio.
“We’ve sent recordings to the House Intelligence Committee also,” Bondy told CNN.
Discussing the audio already released by his client, Bondy said the recording “certainly addresses the issue of the ambassador and we thought it was really important to get that recording out in public today.”
“There’s a few aspects [of the recording] that are important,” Bondy told Cooper. “First off, we hear the president himself saying, ‘Get rid of the ambassador, fire her, get her out of there.’ And this is one of the first occasions in which he attempts to remove the ambassador.”
“Lev Parnas … was shocked,” Bondy said.
The White House maintains Trump did nothing wrong in removing Yovanavitch. Responding to Parnas’ recording, originally reported by ABC News, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, ”every president in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his Administration.”
But Bondy suggested the president’s use of Parnas and Fruman to conduct diplomacy in Ukraine “makes no sense.”
“It’s still fascinating to me …” CNN’s Cooper told Bondy. “The fact that [Parnas] was the guy, and Igor Fruman, according the Lev Parnas, were the people on the ground in Ukraine, and they would literally go to a meeting with the former president [of Ukraine], with the man who is now heading the intelligence services in Ukraine, and hold up a phone and Rudy Giuliani would be on speakerphone saying, ‘Listen to these guys, they represent us, they represent the president, they represent me. Listen to what they have to say.”
“It’s unconventional,” Bondy agreed. “You wouldn’t expect diplomacy to be conducted that way. I can kind of wonder if there’s some reason to have Igor and Lev doing that bidding.”
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