…..As Senate Impeachment Trail Begins
An aide to Rudy Giuliani claims President Donald Trump “knew exactly what was going on” regarding efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son.
Lev Parnas, a close associate of Mr Trump’s lawyer, made the comments in an interview with MSNBC.
Parnas, who is facing separate criminal charges, said Mr Giuliani was never investigating corruption.
The intention was to damage a potential Democratic rival to President Trump.
The president denies the allegations.
Donald Trump was impeached in the United States House of Representatives last month and is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The case was sent to the Senate on Wednesday, where a trial is set to be held.
Parnas said that the president was lying and knew that unless there was an investigation into Mr Biden and his son Hunter, who was a director of a Ukrainian gas company, military aid to Ukraine would be withheld.
He also claimed that the investigation was about digging up dirt on Mr Biden, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Donald Trump in this year’s US presidential election.
Earlier this week, letters, phone records, notes and flash drives were obtained from Mr Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman, in a bid to bolster Democrats’ case against Mr Trump at the forthcoming Senate trial.
Documents show that Ukraine-born Mr Parnas was in regular contact with Mr Giuliani as well as Ukrainian officials, and suggest that Mr Parnas was directly involved in trying to have Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky look into Mr Biden.