Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who has said he wants to testify in the president’s impeachment trial, showed up at the Senate on Wednesday attempting to gain entry.
Parnas, however, can’t enter the Senate gallery because he is wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle — and no electronic devices are allowed in the Senate chamber during the trial.
Parnas was spotted, along with his attorney Joseph Bondy, picking up his tickets for entry to the trial at the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Parnas and Bondy later said they would have to return the tickets to Schumer’s office.
Before he made his way to the Senate chamber, Parnas told reporters that if he were ever allowed to testify in the trial, he’s not sure it would change the minds of Republican senators, because they live in the “cult” of “Trump world.”
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“Trump world is like a cult, and a lot of these senators are in the cult, so I don’t know if anything could change some of their minds,” Parnas said, responding to questions about whether his possible testimony could change the minds of enough senators to convict Trump.
“But hopefully the public will know what’s going on, and hopefully maybe some of them, you know, if we get witnesses, and they really hear the truth, maybe the conscience will overwhelm them,” Parnas added.
Parnas reiterated that he wanted to testify under oath at Trump’s trial — and that he also would like to see Trump, and other key cabinet members, testify.
“I’d love to do it under oath,” he said. “I welcome all of them. I’d welcome Rudy to come and testify under oath, I’d welcome the president to come testify under oath, I’d welcome Pompeo to come testify under oath, And definitely…Bill Barr,” he added.
Parnas is indicted on campaign finance charges and has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He’s since given interviews saying “President Trump knew exactly what was going on” in regard to the alleged Ukraine scheme, which is at the center of Trump’s impeachment.
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Parnas can attend the impeachment trial — but that he wouldn’t be able to take off his ankle monitor.
Earlier this month, House Democrats released records as part of the evidence that attorneys for Parnas turned over to House impeachment investigators, which show that Giuliani requested a private meeting with Zelenskiy, then the president-elect, with Trump’s “knowledge and consent.”
Trump has denied knowing Parnas or Fruman. Photos that Parnas posted to Facebook in 2018 show him and Fruman with Trump and with the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. President Trump said that “it’s possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody.”