The latest developments in the UkraineGate scandal sound like something out of a $0.99 spy novel, and there appears to be no end in sight for the unfolding drama.
In the Senate, Trump’s legal team is still trudging through their opening statement on Monday, working diligently to correct the record after the hyperbolic, grandstanding display put on by the Democrats last week. This droll and methodical dismantling of the Democratic narrative doesn’t make for the most compelling television and, combined with the understanding that Trump will almost certainly be acquitted at the end of this mess, the entire fiasco has become little more than background noise for many.
Looking to shake that up is Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani that many believe was directly involved in the dealings alleged by the Democrats involving Trump and Ukraine.
Last week, a secret recording taken at a dinner where both Trump and Parnas were present came to light, with the President being heard speaking about the removal of US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Parnas’ legal team is now claiming that these aren’t the only recordings of President Trump that exist.
Parnas’s attorney, Joseph Bondy, said in a tweet Saturday that he released the audio “given its importance to our national interest.” He said Friday that he had shared it with the House Intelligence Committee.
Later Saturday, Bondy told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he believes the recording is significant because, “This is one of the first occasions in which (Trump) attempts to remove the ambassador.”
“Parnas, as he has explained it to me, was shocked that he might raise the subject of the ambassador and have the chief executives say, ‘Get rid of her and fire her,'” Bondy said. “You could never possibly have expected that the President would literally take that step.”
He added that Parnas has more recordings of the President.
The release of this material could very well put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow for witnesses in the ongoing impeachment trial – something that the Kentucky lawmaker has been adamantly opposed to previously.
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