• Lev Parnas is Not the Impeachment Witness You are Looking For…

    January 29, 2020

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in: 2020, Democracy, Trump


     

    Lev Parnas is who we all hope is the last “Did too! Did Not!” player in the three year effort to find someway to  drive Trump from office.

     

    Parnas is a Ukrainian-born “businessman” who claims to be the missing link between Trump and evidence needed to impeach. Parnas is also under indictment for breaking campaign-finance laws by disguising donations from foreign entities to unnamed U.S. politicians, and so is singing like the girl from Frozen to be let go. The media christened him the new White Knight of democracy. Is he?
     

    Nah. Parnas is mostly an opportunist, with notes of stalker, groupie, and crazy guy who imagines Jodi Foster is in love with him from afar. He takes his place as the Hail Mary play in the blob that is impeachment now. He joins James Comey, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Robert Mueller, Michael Cohen, Michael Avenatti and his aggrieved porn stars, Christopher Steele, the tattered Russian oligarchs still waiting for their checks from Christopher Steele, The Masked Whistleblower, and so many others who came before them.

    Though the media label him a Rudy Giuliani henchman, associate, thug, or fixer, and thus by extension a Trump henchman, associate, thug, or fixer, Parnas instead paid Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars for “business and legal advice.” He didn’t work for Guliani, Giuliani worked for him. And in the you-can’t-make-this-up category, Parnas’ company is called Fraud Guarantee.

    Parnas was supposedly paying for the privilege of being used to gather dirt on Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, which begs the question of why. As America’s ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch served at the pleasure of the president. Trump did not need a reason to fire her. He did not need dirt gathered. He could simply instruct the State Department to recall her (or any other ambassador) and that’s that. It happens all the time without the need for third party cloak-and-dagger work by a B-grade Clouseau. Yet Parnas has gone on at length about the process of firing Yovanovitch being so difficult the most powerful man in the world with the Article II-guaranteed right to fire someone needed Parnas’ help.

    Actually the only “work” Parnas wanted in return for this generous payments to Rudy was the appearance of access, grip-and-grin photos, a sleazy form of currency in the markets people like him travel through in Eastern Europe and Asia. They decorate the walls of fast talkers across the globe, like the “awards” small town real estate agents and insurance brokers favor. So via his payments to Giuliani and his generous donations, Parnas amassed photos of him and Trump. Those photos are the cornerstone of Democrats’ case against Trump, who says he really does not know Parnas. See, there are pictures, what the media insist now are to be called “receipts.”

    You want some photos with the big boys and girls? Easy. You write a modest check to a campaign. You get invited to a campaign event for a quick picture, maybe at first with a tier-two Trump kid. You write a bigger check, you get invited to another event and maybe are led past the Man himself for a quick snap. More money, better photos. Start to bundle donors, and you get invites to “private” breakfasts attended by dozens of people with a drop-by from the candidate. None of this means you “know” Trump or he knows you. You or may not exchange a word of greeting as the photos are taken in assembly-line fashion. And of course if your politics runs Democrat, these same photos are available with Biden, Bernie, Pete, or whomever. For a price. Now, show us a photo of you with Trump in matching Speedos poolside and you’ll have our attention.

    Along with most of the media and American public, sleazy businesspeople in Eastern Europe don’t seem to grasp the meaningless of these photos, and imagine a guy like Trump isn’t using Parnas as an ATM while a guy like Parnas isn’t using Trump for pretend status. Meanwhile, as con men do, Parnas was going around Ukraine telling everyone, without any evidence, he was working for Giuliani and Trump, gathering dirt on the American ambassador. But there was always a little wiggle room in the actual relationship — note the “like” when Parnas said “I became like Rudy’s assistant, his investigator.” How one works for someone one is paying is, like, unclear. Parnas, like generations of grifters before him, is free to go around claiming he is important and trying to tie himself to important people but none of that makes it true.

    In fact, perhaps having been introduced to the legal term perjury or its vernacular cousin “lying” by his defense attorney John Dowd, a former Trump lawyer he and the media made a big deal out of hiring, Parnas further qualified his relationship with Trump to say “I mean, we’re not friends. Me and him didn’t watch football games together. We didn’t eat hot dogs. But he knew exactly who we were.”

    Following his indictment and ahead of impeachment proceedings Parnas has become a one-man media event. He claimed to Federal Elvis-level investigator Rachel Maddow he knew Trump knew everything bad that was going on, though admits he never spoke substantively to Trump and his knowledge is second or third hand at best. To say he was photographed with Trump at fundraisers is miles from claiming Trump directed him in the Ukraine caper which in fact even Parnas does not claim. The media has done that for him, imaging a selfie is a receipt for impeachable offenses.

    And of course there’s more as the story oozes downhill from drama into comedy. Remember how the Russians had Trump on tape with prostitutes? And how the media headlined Michael Cohen had incriminating tapes of Trump no one ever heard? Parnas supposedly has tapes, too! Parnas also introduced a somewhat dubious legal gambit. Without evidence he accused Attorney General Bill Barr of being involved in all things Ukraine, and thus must recuse himself from Parnas’ campaign finance illegal donations case due to this “conflict of interest.” Parnas also accused Vice President Pence of “having to have known” about the Ukraine stuff. Parnas dismissed hints in a text by an alcoholic Trump supporter that Ambassador Yovanovitch was under Giuliani-ordered surveillance and/or the target of assassination. Democrats have called for an investigation anyway. And the fact that Parnas chose to reveal all on the Maddow show, as opposed to a proffer, or under oath anywhere, should not distract from his credibility.

     

    Enough. There is no evidence Parnas ever spoke substantively about Ukraine with Trump. There is no evidence supporting Parnas’ claims he in any way worked with, at the direction of, or otherwise for Trump. His statements now, only after indictment, raise significant questions about his credibility and thus demand supporting evidence. Selfies with Trump are not supporting evidence. Nothing corroborates Parnas but Parnas.

    That ends Parnas’ value as a potential witness in these impeachment hearings. But what about his enablers in the media without whom he’d be telling his tall tales to the cafeteria ladies at some Federal prison facility?

    The old adage about not being able to cheat an honest person extends to the media; a con man can only be elevated to the national stage by a dishonest media willing to ignore his lack of credibility for its own agenda. And so the same people who drove the Russiagate train for years embrace Parnas as the new smoking gun. The NYT’s own queen of that particular swamp, Maggie Haberman, admitted “One of the hallmarks of the Trump era is anybody who is oppositional to Trump gets instant credibility. We’ve seen it over and over again. Michael Avenatti, Cohen even at points, even when he was admitting he was lying to Congress at some point after he pleaded guilty to other charges.” That’s a hell of a thing for Haberman to say given how much credibility she and her paper of record have bestowed on a parade of transparent liars.

    This all started three years ago with Christopher Steele, who at least had a nicely-typed dossier and an MI6 pedigree. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and a few of the others probably did know things even if they didn’t snitch out. But now we’re down to the media primping a guy who before he was a recognized as a savior by CNN was called by CNN a radioactive wolf who shook down Ukrainians pretending he had a connection to the White House.

    With impeachment soon to be over and the Democratic primaries starting hopefully there won’t be bandwidth left for another round of this with whoever feeds even further below Lev Parnas. The list of people who have been used by the media to try to bring Trump down is long. Most of them are now in jail, were fired or disgraced, or received Pulitzer Prizes. Time for this to end. Maggie, come get your people, they’re embarrassing themselves out here.

      

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Matrix Games

      Why do you waste time digging up old dirt on witnesses that dont matter?

      What does the Trump cult fear when no way in hell is the Repug Senate going to convict this clown?

      Moscow Mitch is just giving Dumbocrats material for their campaign commercials.

      Bring in all the witnesses and get this show trial over. No witnesses, no evidence is a bad look. Dont want to wake the dumbass Americans to the real world they live in: Neo-con job.

      01/29/20 8:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Are we looking for Johnny B? Or is that cluassified?

      The White House has issued a formal threat to former national security adviser John Bolton to keep him from publishing his book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

      In a letter to Bolton’s lawyer, a top official at the National Security Council wrote the unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s book “appears to contain significant amounts of classified information” and couldn’t be published as written.
      The letter, which is dated January 23, said some of the information was classified at the “top secret” level, meaning it “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security.”

      “The manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information,” the letter read…including the title.

      Damn, Peter, these classified clowns never change their act.

      01/29/20 1:53 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      3

      Hey, Rich,

      If Kushner can get classified clearance and then give the classified information to Saudi Arabia, Bolton can give some to the American people.

      Hell, if Donald Trump can have classified material which he shares with his Mar-a-Lago buddies, we should have access, too.

      01/29/20 2:44 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      teri- Bolton isn’t about to “give” any information to the American people. He wants us to buy it from him. He claims he was privy to immoral and possibly illegal deeds but then kept it to himself while shopping for a publisher. Why didn’t he immediately inform the proper authorities and then resign? His observations could then have been typed out and turned over to the federal archives so we can all access it for free if we’re curious. Ooops. that isn’t the way “public service” works. Tax payers have been paying Bolton’s salary for decades but he insists we continue to pay him even though he apparently has punched out on the federal time clock for good.

      01/29/20 8:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      5

      Teri,

      You dont have to worry about Trumpie leaking. It depends. Pompous Pig, he of the Dept of State and War, has been censoring the Daily Intel Brief so Trumpie wont blab really classified shit to RasPutin and The Bonesaw Saudis. Besides the CIA has been spinning intel so long one most of it is disinformation.

      Pig has been running Trump the whole time. He knows everything Trumpie has been hiding about his financial dealings with the Russian mafia. He calls it the Trumpie Steal Dossier. Trumpie lives in fear of Pompous Pig as much as the Pig fears nasty women reporters.

      If the Dumbocrats by some miracle take the White House you can imagine the Pig will be crashing some hard drives before he goes back to Kansas to plot 2024. Pig has all the secrets. I am against waterboarding but willing to make an exception in his case. Dont think we will have to in his case. I know a squealer when I see one.

      01/29/20 8:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      We dont need no stinkin witnesses…or political rivals.

      “ In the end if a president or any candidate did something that he believes will help him get elected, like destroy Bidens reputation and eliminate a political rival, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” Alan Dershowitz argued.

      Character assassination…thats for amateurs. Putin figured that out a very long time ago.

      Of course such a position suggested an interpretation of the Constitution that held it acceptable for a President to abuse his power and Congress could do nothing about it…which is a pretty good summary of our reality.

      01/30/20 8:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      Of course none of these witnesses will change the voters’ mind. Unless the FBI pulls another Comey at US, announcing an investigation of Sanders, Warren just before the election which created this situation, the swing states PA, Michigan, etc will likely ensure a Demo electoral win.

      Nearly three out of five Pennsylvania voters don’t believe President Donald Trump deserves re-election, a finding in a new Franklin & Marshall College poll.

      Trump trails in four key Great Lakes states he won in 2016, indicating the extent to which he’ll have to entice wavering voters – especially women – to swing his way before November, January polling across Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin found.

      Support for a still-to-be-determined Democratic candidate was within a few points of reaching a majority in each state, including leads of more than a dozen points over Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to the Great Lakes Poll.

      01/30/20 3:57 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      8

      Bauer: The poll takers/soothsayers are seeking redemption for being so clueless in 2016 so my suggestion is to ignore the polls. Biden has hinted he’d love to run with Obama’s wife and has evidently said he might die in his first term if elected. We have entered into the phantasmagoric world of Kurt Vonnegut who said true terror is realizing that one’s high school classmates are now running the country. I’d put my money on Bloomberg. You on the other hand do not have the courage to commit to a conjecture of who the Democrats will eventually run. Prove me wrong oh wise soothsayer.

      01/30/20 5:33 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      The only impeachment witness who needs to appear is out of town: The Koch Whore of Wichita

      The guy may be the Kansas Wizard behind the curtain,

      But Who put lipstick on this Pig?

      01/31/20 10:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      The Clinton and the Trumpie impeachment have something in common: blowjobs. Trumpie is getting his from mostly old white guys.

      01/31/20 11:02 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Speaking of Animal Farm:

      Trumpie: They are going after your cows. You are next.

      He may be talking about pigs, but they are rather smart for a Trump cult rally. Think Lemmings is more their type.

      01/31/20 1:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      12

      Lemmings are a lot like Republicans, not suicidal, just stupid

      Lemmings have become the subject of a widely popular misconception that they are driven to commit mass suicide when they migrate by jumping off cliffs. It is not a deliberate mass suicide where the animal voluntarily chooses to die, but rather a result of their migratory behavior. Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. They can swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, many drown if the chosen body of water happens to be an ocean, or is in any case so wide as to exceed their physical capabilities. Thus, the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian lemmings, and perhaps a small amount of semantic confusion (suicide not being limited to voluntary deliberation, but also the result of foolishness), helped give rise to the popular stereotype of the suicidal lemmings, particularly after this behavior was staged in the Walt Disney documentary White Wilderness in 1958.

      So when Trumpie says Jump, You JUMP!

      01/31/20 2:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      We are all witnesses to what the rest of the world has known.

      We are a corrupt political system bought and sold out.

      Don’t you love farce?
      My fault, I fear
      I thought that you’d want what I want
      Sorry, my dear!
      But where are the clowns
      Send in the clowns
      Don’t bother, they’re here.

      01/31/20 10:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      14

      In addition to the build up of Parnas, it’s sad that the Washington Post and friends have also hoisted up Bolton as a national hero considering all the foreign policy debacles Bolton pushed — ie invading Iraq. During Bolton’s tenure at State during the Cheney administration, he was not well-regarded by State employees.

      02/1/20 12:26 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      To recap: Demented could shoot Sanders, Warren and Biden on Fifth Ave if he thought it was in the best interest of the country that he got reelected.

      02/1/20 9:19 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      Somewhere Hitler in Hell is saying, where was my Dershowitz?

      Himmler: Mein Fuehrer, remember that we sent him and his family to the gas chambers because you said it was in the best interest of the country.

      02/1/20 9:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      17

      When in Rome…

      So following the Dershoshoots principle, Mike the Rapture Freak Pence could shoot Demented ala Brutus and become presidunce. The Roman- I mean Repug Senate- would acquit Pence as he murdered Demented for the good of the country and hasten the Rapture as well.

      This assumes there would be a majority in the Dumbocrat House to even impeach the new presidunce.

      02/2/20 1:17 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      18

      It only took two millennia for another Jewish guy to bring salvation to mankind. Bloomberg vs Herod (Trump). I have no pride. Bloomberg can buy my vote anytime!

      02/2/20 1:45 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      19

      So it might come down to bone spurs vs flat feet for the 2020 POTUS? That will be a hard call for many. Hah.

      02/2/20 4:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      20

      But these clowns know where Ukraine is on a map:

      Trump wrote at 10:15 p.m. on Sunday: “Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game, and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well! Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!”

      The clown couldnt find his ass with both hands and a map.

      02/3/20 7:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      21

      Did Trumpie just lose Mo and the election over his Kansas supertweet?

      02/3/20 7:45 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      22

      Demented deleted the bonehead tweet, which is the First time he ever admitted making a mistake…if you dont count his marriages…and his sons.

      02/3/20 7:55 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      23

      And another fact witness who should be called:

      Little Lindsey Graham, who wants to blow Trumpies whistle

      Ms. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says that the Ukraine whistleblower will be called before the Senate Intelligence Committee after the impeachment trial because “I want to find out how all this crap started.”

      Graham is also threatening to go after former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter when the trial is over, even though Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team failed to demonstrate a single ethics violation or crime by either man.

      Well, Ms Graham, Repugnican crackers like you started this crap when you promised to blow Trumpies whistle no matter what the clown did.

      02/3/20 1:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      24

      Cheating is the (GOP) Patriot Way

      “Democracy depends on the consent of the losers. For most of the 20th century, parties and candidates in the United States have competed in elections with the understanding that electoral defeats are neither permanent nor intolerable. The losers could accept the result, adjust their ideas and coalitions, and move on to fight in the next election. Ideas and policies would be contested, sometimes viciously, but however heated the rhetoric got, defeat was not generally equated with political annihilation. The stakes could feel high, but rarely existential. In recent years, however, beginning before the election of Donald Trump and accelerating since, that has changed…
      The GOP is losing faith that it can win elections in the future.

      With this come dark possibilities…When a group that has traditionally exercised power comes to believe that its eclipse is inevitable, and that the destruction of all it holds dear will follow, it will fight to preserve what it has—whatever the cost.”

      Just as those other Patriots deflated footballs, filmed opposing coaches, and who knows what else, the GOP will cheat whatever it takes, and like that old pervert owner of the Patriots it will pay to keep it up, but knowing their time is running out.

      02/3/20 9:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      25

      O Lordy, I hope there are tapes of Trump mocking the National Anthem, because if there were Ms Lindsey Graham would demand to know who the whistleblower was who took the video of that National Anthem idiot.

      02/4/20 1:52 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      26

      Bauer- you wouldn’t understand- but I pity Trump who demands his military underlings start winning if they want to stay on a winning guy’s team. Trump hasn’t figured out yet that the MICC doesn’t abide by the ancient ethos of invading and then taking what one wants (oil and other resources). Success and winning no longer have anything to do with outcomes on the battlefield. We Pentagon underwriters (tax payers) are both cannon fodder and the victory booty combined.

      02/4/20 2:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      27

      The only thing the MIC fears is the absence of fear which would cripple its gravytrain.

      02/4/20 3:59 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      28

      So we agree Bauer? The model for the MICC today is……………. invading and plundering the American taxpayer. It has nothing to do with traditional military tactics against a foreign adversary. It’s a giant Pentagon shakedown racket with a cowering pathetic target-us. “Please make us safe -Here are our dollars. We’re so afraid.”

      02/4/20 5:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      29

      JP,

      1. The Federal Gov is the entertainment division of the MIC.

      2. War is a racket, and the poor are merely racquetballs.

      3. As Peter has learned, no one in polite society dare mentions the clowns in the MIC running the circus are stealing the townspeople money.

      4. When your choice was between Hillary the War Hawk or Demented the Peace Presidunce, both would have lost to the Coronavirus. There will be a vaccine for the Coronavirus but never a vaccine to make US immune from stupidity.

      02/5/20 10:53 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      30

      Senile Sue Collins says Harvey Weinstein should be forgiven because he learned his lesson…and he promised to be good.

      02/5/20 12:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      31

      Who won in Iowa?

      Only The Shadow knows.

      Reportedly it beat Fraud Guarantee for the contract.

      02/5/20 5:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      32

      Gee, the 2024 campaign has already started.

      Romney 2024

      02/5/20 5:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      33

      Moscow Mitch won the impeachment battle but may have lost the Senate war.

      2016 proved when there are unfavorable candidates like Clinton and Trumpie most people vote against someone rather than for someone. Trumpie is still unfavorable. Warren, Bernie and Pete the mayor are actually popular. Collins and the other vulnerable Repugs can thank Moscow Mitch for dragging them down for supporting Trump.

      Moscow Mitch and the other Repugs were caught between the rejected Ayn Rand aetheist-bullshit ideology of Paul Ryan and the racist pseudo-populism of the Great Exaggerator who emerged from the political and moral void he helped create. Trump will lose in 2020 and leave behind a Republican Titanic, headed for an electoral iceberg which will shatter the party for years to come. President Warren should give him the Medal of Freedom.

      Con man to the end. Well done, Agent Trump.

      02/5/20 8:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      34

      The photos of Lev and Trump are revealing; he reportedly gave Trump $500 grand and sealed the deal with Trump for sex with Ivanka.

      02/6/20 11:10 AM | Comment Link

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