Much ado has been made by MSNBC and The New York Times and the left and the Democrats about the latest, newest, glitziest, golden boy hoped-for impeachment witness, former Rudy Giuliani business associate Lev Parnas.
But this guy is a dud like all the rest.
First off, he was arrested just a few weeks back for campaign finance violations aimed at enriching his own pockets, as well as those of Ukrainian politicians. So he’s tainted. And he’s all the more tainted because after his arrest, he agreed to cooperate with investigators looking to dig up impeachment dirt on President Donald Trump.
That’s kind of how the whole Russia collusion investigation under special counsel Robert Mueller’s control went, didn’t it? Go after those tied to Trump: check. Find some questionable behaviors among those tied to Trump: Check, check. Exploit those questionable behaviors so the media can then draw links back to Trump: Check, check, check. Roger Stone. Paul Manafort. Jerome Corsi. And finally, the last strategic step: Use those highly publicized investigations into Trump-tied individuals as wedges and tools of bargaining to dig up more dirt on Trump.
Anything to distract from the fact that Russia collusion was a waste of taxpayer dime, right?
Well, here we are again, the next Clue game move: Parnas, on Ukraine, with the documents, in the cloak room.
“The House Intelligence Committee quietly released a new batch of impeachment inquiry evidence Tuesday evening: documents provided by Rudy Giuliani’s fixer for Ukraine, Lev Parnas. And boy, are they ugly,” Vox wrote.
Meanwhile, from Time, this headline: “Parnas Says Trump Knew About Campaign to Pressure Ukraine.”
From The New York Times: “In an interview, [Parnas] said the president knew everything about the effort to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election.”
And then, from MSNBC Rachel Maddow’s widely reported interview with Parnas, clips like this: “Lev Parnas: ‘President Trump knew exactly what was going on.’ ” And this: “Lev Parnas: ‘Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.’ ” And this: “Parnas: Pence tasked with getting Ukraine to announce Biden probe.”
But cut through all the wild headlines and sensationalized media clips, and what you get is this: A guy with a presumption.
Just like all the House witnesses — another guy guessing at Trump’s motivations.
Those “ugly” documents to which Vox referred?
“The documents,” Vox wrote, “which include Parnas’s handwritten notes, copies of text messages and other correspondence, reveal some new information — including that Giuliani claimed to be acting with President Trump’s ‘knowledge and consent’ in his communications with the Ukrainian government. One handwritten note of Parnas’s, scribbled on Ritz-Carlton hotel stationary, clearly states his main objective in his dealings with Ukraine: to get Ukraine’s president to announce ‘the Biden case will be investigated.’ “
In other words: Parnas wrote some stuff down and that’s impeachment-worthy evidence.
That’s less admissible as evidence as a James Comey memo. You remember — the memos former FBI Director and Trump-hating Comey wrote about his conversations with Trump that was supposed to be seen as irrefutable evidence of the president’s crimes?
We laugh now.
But Parnas is about as trustworthy as Comey.
And the House Democrats know it — else they wouldn’t have saved Parnas as a distracting buzz to their walk of bogus impeachment articles to the Senate. They would’ve exploited him already in the House.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.