Irony – delicious irony.
Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas spent the better part of a year attempting to subordinate America’s foreign policy in Ukraine to the president’s reelection bid. Part and parcel of that effort was a despicable smear campaign aimed at ousting Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and, later, strong-arming Volodymyr Zelensky into launching an investigation into Joe Biden.
For their trouble, Trump got impeached, Giuliani found himself in the crosshairs of US prosecutors (a category of people which used to include him) and Parnas got himself indicted. They never got their investigation announcement on Biden.
But Ukraine did announce an investigation on Thursday – into Whatsapp exchanges between Parnas and Robert Hyde, a Trump donor and Republican Congressional candidate, who, in a series of wild messages, detailed an apparent surveillance operation on Yovanovitch.
The messages included references to the career public servant as a “b–tch”, and Hyde alluded to unspecified things that could be done in Ukraine with bribes.
In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, Parnas said he didn’t take Hyde’s claims seriously. But Ukraine is taking them seriously – or at least for now.
The country’s Interior Ministry said this, in a statement:
Investigators in Ukraine are also looking into reports that Russia hacked Burisma’s computers. On Monday, California-based Area 1 Security said the incident was linked to Russia’s Main Directorate of Military Intelligence, the infamous GRU.
To this day, there is still no evidence whatsoever that implicates Joe or Hunter Biden in wrongdoing.
“It was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden. Also, Rudy had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff, the black ledger”, Parnas told MSNBC, adding that Trump knew exactly what he was doing in Ukraine. “It was never about corruption”, he told voters, on national television. “President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. … I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president”.
As to Giuliani’s persistent claims that Yovanovitch was corrupt or somehow disloyal, Parnas seemingly dismissed that too. “The only motivation” was to brush her aside to pave way for the Biden probe, he said.
Describing Hyde to Rachel Maddow, Parnas said ol’ Rob was usually drunk. “[He’s] a weird character”, Parnas assessed.
That’s not a good look for Hyde. When Lev Parnas calls you a drunken weirdo, you know you’ve got problems.