First on CNN: Oversight Committee Democrats invite Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as witness for Biden impeachment hearing

First on CNN: Oversight Committee Democrats invite Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as witness for Biden impeachment hearing - Politics - News

Democrats Select Indicted Associate of Rudy Giuliani as Witness for Oversight Committee Hearing

The Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee have announced that an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, will be testifying at their hearing scheduled for Wednesday. According to a source with the Oversight Committee Democrats, Parnas played a significant role in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to uncover damaging information about then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, in Ukraine prior to the 2020 presidential election.

Background of Lev Parnas

Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman, worked closely with Rudy Giuliani to help Trump’s reelection campaign. In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Parnas and Giuliani attempted to dig up dirt on the Biden family in Ukraine. However, Parnas was later sentenced to 20 months in prison for his involvement in various campaign finance, wire fraud, and false statements schemes.

House Republicans and Parnas

Prior to his indictment, House Republicans had embraced the information that Parnas was providing. However, since then, Parnas has denounced these claims as falsehoods.

Democrats and Wednesday’s Hearing

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight panel, stated that Parnas could debunk the baseless accusations at the heart of the impeachment probe and shed light on how the GOP reached their degraded and embarrassing position. Parnas will be appearing alongside Tony Bobulinski, a former Biden family business associate who has made unproven allegations against the Bidens, and Jason Galanis, currently serving time in federal prison for multiple fraudulent schemes. Hunter Biden declined the invitation from Republicans to appear at this hearing.

History of Investigation

Wednesday’s hearing is the second of its kind since Republicans initiated their investigation into the Biden family. With impeachment now less likely, this hearing serves as a significant moment for the faltering inquiry.

Biden-Burisma Conspiracy Theory

The Biden-Burisma conspiracy theory, which claimed that Joe Biden corruptly abused his powers to pressure Ukraine to remove a top prosecutor investigating Burisma while Hunter Biden served on the firm’s board, formed the basis of the Republican pushback against Trump’s 2019 impeachment and continues to be a fundamental element of the ongoing GOP-led impeachment inquiry.

Parnas’ Previous Statements

Even before the ex-FBI informant was charged with lying about the president and his son’s dealings with Ukrainian energy company, Oversight Committee Democrats used Parnas’ previous testimony to contradict these allegations. In a letter sent in July 2023, Parnas called on the Oversight Committee Chair James Comer to end his investigation into the Biden family, stating that “the narrative you are seeking for this investigation has been proven false many times over.”

Consideration of Michael Cohen

Before ultimately deciding to call Parnas, Democrats had been considering Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen as their witness. However, they chose Parnas because he could provide direct insights into how Trump utilized questionable sources to fabricate dirt on Biden.