The House Intelligence Committee released new evidence on Tuesday related to the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, including information turned over by Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The release, which reflects the unfinished nature of the House’s impeachment inquiry, comes ahead of an expected House vote on Wednesday to formally send the impeachment articles to the Senate for a trial.
“Despite unprecedented obstruction by the president, the committee continues to receive and review potentially relevant evidence and will make supplemental transmittals,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote Tuesday to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose panel is responsible for compiling the complete record of the investigation ahead of the Senate’s trial.
The material released on Tuesday contains several handwritten notes, emails, encrypted messages, and other documents that underscore the close relationship between Parnas and Giuliani, who was actively pursuing an effort last year to push the Ukrainian government to announce investigations targeting Trump’s political rivals. The documents also complicate one of Trump’s oft-stated defenses of his actions toward Ukraine.
A previously undisclosed May 2019 letter from Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is among the tranche of documents the Democrat-led committee made public on Tuesday.
In the letter, which was obtained from Parnas’ cell phone that was turned over the Intelligence Committee on Sunday, Giuliani asked for a half-hour meeting with Zelensky as the former New York City mayor was pursuing investigations targeting former Vice President Joe Biden — and Giuliani made clear that he was acting with Trump’s “knowledge and consent” and in his capacity as a “personal” attorney for the president. Trump, though, has stated that he was acting on behalf of the U.S. government when he allegedly pushed for the investigations.
“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th,” Giuliani wrote in the letter, which was obtained from a screenshot contained on Parnas’ phone.
One of the documents included in the disclosure is a handwritten note by Parnas that states: “Get Zelensky to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.” Another refers to Lanny Davis, the attorney representing Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen: “Get rid of Lanny Davis (nicely!)”
Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was also a frequent target in text messages between Parnas and his allies. In some texts, it appeared that Yovanovitch’s very movements were being tracked amid a rising frustration that she was not already ousted.
Trump ultimately recalled her from Ukraine amid a Giuliani-led smear campaign against her; when that moment came, State Department officials told her to leave the country immediately.
Trump referred to Yovanovitch as “bad news” in a July 25 phone call with Zelensky and said she was “going to go through some things.”
“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,” said Lawrence S. Robbins, an attorney for Yovanovitch, in a statement. “We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”
Both Giuliani and Parnas were subpoenaed as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry. Giuliani has refused to comply, while Parnas was granted permission from a federal judge earlier this month to release the contents of his devices, which were seized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York when he was arrested, to the Intelligence Committee in compliance with the subpoena.
Parnas was arrested on Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. He was charged with campaign finance violations involving the steering of foreign dollars into American elections. Parnas has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ahead of Schiff’s disclosure on Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited new evidence that had emerged in the weeks since the House impeached Trump on Dec. 18, including new emails indicating that senior Trump administration officials were worried that the president’s order to freeze critical military aid to Ukraine was potentially illegal, to justify her decision to delay the formal transmission of the impeachment articles across the Capitol.
Pelosi has also pointed to other significant developments in Democrats’ case, including former White House national security adviser John Bolton’s expressed willingness to testify before the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated earlier Tuesday that the crux of the trial will begin next Tuesday, while senators are expected to be sworn in later this week. The House is expected to pass a resolution on Wednesday that names the House’s impeachment managers, triggering the formal start of the Senate’s trial.
Schiff said the new evidence shows that Parnas “communicated extensively by phone and messaging applications” with Giuliani and senior Ukrainian officials.
“These communications, often in Russian, demonstrate that Mr. Parnas served as a direct channel between President Trump’s agent, Mr. Giuliani, and individuals close to President Volodymyr Zelensky,” Schiff wrote.
The evidence also includes a letter from Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, in which he indicates that Trump authorized another attorney — John Dowd, who previously represented Trump — to serve as counsel to Parnas and Igor Fruman, another Giuliani associate who was arrested and indicted last year on similar charges.
The White House and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Kyle Cheney, Darren Samuelsohn and Nahal Toosi contributed to this report.