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Parnas: Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid to Ukraine

Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas alleged in an interview Wednesday that President Trump threatened to withhold more than just military aid from Ukraine.

Parnas unleashed a slew of new accusations against the president, including that he, as a representative of Trump, gave Ukrainian officials a “very harsh message” that the U.S. would cut off all aid to the country if it did not announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The message was it wasn’t just military aid. It was all aid,” he told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “Basically, the relationship would be sour. We would stop giving them any kind of aid.”

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Parnas was indicted in October on campaign law violations and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He reportedly is looking to cooperate with prosecutors in his case who are investigating Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.

The associate to the president’s personal attorney said that he met with officials, including a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and made clear that he was there “on behalf of Rudy Giuliani and the president of the United States.”

Parnas also countered the president’s narrative by asserting that receiving aid was contingent on U.S. demands, primarily the investigation into Biden and his son, who was on the board of a Ukrainian company during Biden’s vice presidency.

The House impeachment inquiry into the president began after a whistleblower complaint said the president in a July phone call asked Zelensky to look into Biden and his son. Since then, the president has denied that he proposed a quid pro quo to Zelensky with regard to almost $400 million in military aid.

Ultimately, military aid to Ukraine was withheld until September. 

The House has since impeached the president on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and on Wednesday sent the impeachment articles to the Senate for the upper chamber to begin its trial.

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