One need not believe Rudolph W. Giuliani’s cohort Lev Parnas, under prosecution in the Southern District of New York for alleged campaign finance violations, is telling the unvarnished truth about the scheme to extort Ukraine into helping President Trump smear former vice president Joe Biden. It is enough to believe the written documents, including letters, notes and texts, he delivered to the House Democrats. Recall, Parnas sought permission from the district court to share documents swept up in his arrest.

Parnas’s stash of evidence includes a letter from Giuliani seeking a meeting with Ukraine’s president with Trump’s knowledge and consent, a note that an announcement to investigate Biden was the price of releasing any aid, and texts concerning the effort to fire then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

The Post reported Friday evening on the release of even more documents: “Documents released by House Democrats Friday evening show text exchanges between Parnas, an associate of Giuliani, and Robert Hyde, a Connecticut Republican who is running for Congress, that indicate a third, unidentified individual was tracking the movements and activities of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.”

The documents also implicate Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who denied memory of speaking with Parnas, until the documents were about to be released. “The text messages corroborate Parnas’s previous claims that he arranged conversations with the Ukrainian prosecutors for the Nunes aide," The Post reported. "And they deepen questions about how much Nunes knew about the pressure campaign — even as he served as one of Trump’s most vociferous defenders during the House impeachment hearings.” Nunes will have to explain why he concealed his office’s involvement in the schemes the committee on which he sat was investigating.

Parnas provides us with documentary evidence of the plot to extract from the Ukrainians an investigation into Biden. Most important, by coming forward, Parnas also effectively puts the Senate on notice: There’s a lot of evidence out there, so ignore it at your own peril.

Thanks to Parnas, it is becoming nearly impossible to deny Trump’s central role in the scheme. The New York Times reports:

In the interview with The Times, Mr. Parnas said that although he did not speak with Mr. Trump directly about the efforts, he met with the president on several occasions and was told by Mr. Giuliani that Mr. Trump was kept in the loop. Mr. Parnas pointed in particular to text messages, released by the House this week, in which Mr. Giuliani refers to an effort to obtain a visa for a former Ukrainian official who leveled corruption allegations against Mr. Biden.
In the messages, Mr. Giuliani boasted of the effort to secure the visa: “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Mr. Parnas said the reference to No. 1 was to Mr. Trump.

Parnas, whatever his legal and moral failings, has shown more guts and moral backbone than former national security adviser John Bolton as well as the slew of current and former Trump officials who refuse to provide testimony and documents that may determine Trump’s guilt — if not in the minds of sycophantic Republicans senators, then in the minds of voters. Parnas reminds us that trials are about truth-telling and that it is never too late to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

For coming forward with details and documents, Parnas makes it harder for Trump to maintain his implausible denials and for Republicans to hide from the facts. For all that, we can say, well done, Mr. Parnas.

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