Lev Parnas told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that former Energy Secretary Rick Perry was brought in by President Trump‘s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to lean on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
According to Parnas, Perry called Giuliani as he was on his way to attend Zelensky’s inauguration in May and asked the former New York mayor what he should discuss with Zelensky.
Then after the inauguration, Parnas asserted, Perry called Giuliani again and told him that he got Zelensky to agree to announce the investigation.
While Zelensky did make an announcement about looking into corruption, the Ukrainian leader never mentioned Biden.
Parnas told Maddow that Giuliani “blew his lid” when this happened.
“It wasn’t supposed to be a corruption announcement, it [had] to be about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and Burisma,” Parnas continued.
Parnas’ interview with Maddow aired over Wednesday and Thursday night.
Parnas was a close associate of Giuliani, and was part of Giuliani’s “shadow diplomacy” in Ukraine that included getting Trump to recall then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Late last year, Parnas and another associate of Giuliani, Igor Fruman, were arrested on campaign finance charges.