In an interview with Rachel Maddow from MSNBC on Wednesday evening, Rudy Giuliani’s colleague Lev Parnas said he wanted to conclude a deal with Ukrainian energy tycoon Dmytro Firtash.
He claimed that he wanted US allegations of corruption against Firtash to be dropped to provide information that would damage the credibility of the Mueller probe and help Joe Biden dig up dirt.
At the request of the US authorities, Firtash has been fighting against extradition from Austria since March 2014. He vigorously rejected allegations of bribery against him.
Prior to taking office, he was considered an important ally of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Yanukovych and was accused by US prosecutors of links to the “top tier” of organized crime.
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In an explosive interview with MSNBCs Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, accused Rudy Giuliani employee Lev Parnas discussed in detail what he considers to be an unprecedented attempt to get the help of a Ukrainian oligarch to find harmful information about Democrat Joe Biden.
Parnas formulated an attempt to counter strike with oligarch Dmytro Firtash, apparently demanding that an extradition order for his return to the United States be lifted to get information that would damage the Mueller probe – and Biden’s chances in 2020 to President elected.
“In order for us to receive information from Firtash, we had to promise Firtash something. So Firtash was told that his case was worthless here and that he was being prosecuted for no reason and basically cared for.”
He said he had been informed that Firtash had information that indicated that a Mueller investigator was involved in “illegal things” and was trying to secure this information. The effort finally came to nothing.
“It was all connected. Ultimately, it should be ensured that the Ukrainians announce a biden investigation.”
Firtash has declined to help Parnas or other Trump allies find information that would damage Biden’s candidacy prior to the 2020 elections.
In handwritten notes released by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Parnas described that he played a role in Firtash and replaced former Clinton consultant Lanny Davis in July with pro-Trump lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova.
Firtash informed the New York Times that he had replaced his team of lawyers to improve his chances of meeting with Attorney General William Barr.
In his interview on Wednesday, Parnas Barr described him as “basically on the team” – or as a member of the group of Trump officials who entered Ukraine’s shadow foreign policy. The Justice Department described the allegation in a statement to MSNBC as false.
Toensing and DiGenoava did not immediately respond to a business insider comment request.
Parnas’ main link to the White House, Giuliani, also allegedly wanted to ask Firtash’s support.
Mark Lennihan / AP; House Intelligence Committee
A photo obtained from Parnas’ team of lawyers and published by the Washington Post shows Parnas, his fellow countryman in Florida, Igor Fruman, and Giuliani in May in a cigar bar in Paris with a Firtash employee.
According to the report, Giuliani was involved in the offer to establish contacts with members of the Firtash circle in several European capitals.
“I never met him”
Giuliani refused to meet the oligarchs.
“I never met him. I never did business with him,” he said of Firtash in a statement to the post.
He said he contacted a Firtash lawyer to determine if he had evidence to investigate corruption in Ukraine.
“I asked a few questions about him because I thought he might have relevant information,” Giuliani told the post. “I found that he didn’t.”
Who is Dmytro Firtash?
So who is Dmytro Firtash and why, as he claims, was Parnas sent to win him over to the shadowy mission in Ukraine that made Donald Trump only the third president in history to be accused?
Firtash is one of the richest men in Ukraine and made his fortune in the energy sector and arranged the transfer of Russian gas to Ukraine.
According to analysts, his close cooperation with the Russian Kremlin-controlled energy sector would only have been possible with the approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A leaked diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks in 2010 cited Firtash as saying that he started his business with the help of the infamous Russian mafia king Semion Mogilevich.
“He admitted links to Russian organized crime”
“He admitted that he had ties to the Russian figure of organized crime, Seymon Mogilevich, and said he needed Mogilevich’s approval to do business at all,” the leaked cable said.
U.S. prosecutors have also accused Firtash of mob ties and referred to him as an “upper class” in a lawsuit filed in 2017 [associate] of Russian organized crime. “
He was widely regarded as one of the most powerful supporters of the pro-Russian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, before being ousted by the Ukrainians in the Maidan Revolution, who sought to end corruption and closer ties with the West.
In 2014, Firtash was arrested in Austria after the FBI brought charges against him for alleging corrupt business practices. Firtash has been fighting extradition ever since.
He emphatically rejected the allegations made against him and allegations of links to organized crime.
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