Lev Parnas Says He Has Tape of Trump Calling for Ambassador’s Firing
WASHINGTON — A former associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said on Friday that he had turned over to congressional Democrats a recording from 2018 of the president ordering the dismissal of Marie L. Yovanovitch, the United States ambassador to Ukraine at the time.
The associate, Lev Parnas, who worked with Mr. Giuliani on the effort to oust the ambassador and to pressure the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations to help Mr. Trump, located the recording on Friday after its existence was first reported by ABC News, said Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy.
Mr. Bondy said it “is of high materiality to the impeachment inquiry” of Mr. Trump, which House Democrats are presenting in the Senate. He said the tape had been provided to the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff, is leading the House impeachment managers in their presentation of the case against Mr. Trump to the Senate.
The recording emerged as Democrats are pressing the Senate to call more witnesses and seek additional evidence for the trial, saying there is more to be learned about the pressure campaign against Ukraine.
Democrats argued on Friday that the recording bolsters their argument that there may be relevant evidence that has yet to be considered.
ABC reported that Mr. Trump could be heard on the tape saying, “Get rid of her.” According to ABC, the president went on to say: “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.”
Mr. Parnas had previously recounted how he and another associate of Mr. Giuliani, Igor Fruman, had met with Mr. Trump at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in April 2018. At that meeting, Mr. Parnas relayed a rumor that Ms. Yovanovitch, then the American ambassador in Kyiv, was bad-mouthing the president — an unsubstantiated claim that Ms. Yovanovitch has denied, according to two people with knowledge of the dinner.
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