Those documents were provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani who was indicted last year on charges of campaign finance violations. Included in the documents are messages in which Parnas and Giuliani discuss Yovanovitch’s position. The messages also include exchanges between Parnas and Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general, Yuri Lutsenko, in which Lutsenko criticizes Yovanovitch and then encourages her firing.
Combining known details with the new messages reveals the broader scope of the anti-Yovanovitch effort, including Lutsenko’s emergence in the American media (with Parnas’s apparent assistance) and how his claims were later undercut. Below is a timeline with the already-known elements and new revelations from the Parnas documents, which are highlighted in yellow.
Dec. 8, 2015: Then-Vice President Biden demands that Ukraine fire prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who is broadly seen as corrupt.
March 29, 2016: Shokin is removed from his position.
May 12, 2016: Yuri Lutsenko takes over the position of prosecutor general.
August 2016: Members of Lutsenko’s office discover that agents from an independent subordinate organization, the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, are surveilling a facility that is part of the prosecutor general’s office. There’s a fight; the NABU agents allege that they were assaulted while in the custody of Lutsenko’s team.
Late 2017: Lutsenko undermines NABU by outing one of its agents. Shortly afterward, the United States expressed its frustration with his office.
April 19, 2018: Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani begins working for President Trump as his personal attorney. His team includes Lev Parnas, a Ukraine native who offers translation services, among other things.
Jan. 23, 2019: After Giuliani is unable to obtain a visa for Shokin (despite “no 1” working on it), he and his team speak with Shokin by phone. He makes various allegations.
Jan. 25: Lutsenko meets with Giuliani, Parnas and others in an office a block from Trump Tower in Manhattan. A summary of the conversation later provided to the State Department indicates that the discussion focused on corruption in Ukraine and allegations of illicit payments from the Ukrainian gas company Burisma to Biden’s son Hunter Biden, a member of Burisma’s board, though details are light. Lutsenko claimed that the payments could be in the nine figures, though he offered no specific numbers. Lutsenko also alleged a large payment from Burisma to a consulting firm for which Hunter Biden worked, Rosemont Seneca Partners, with a note alleging the payment was for Joe Biden.
Lutsenko also mentioned NABU, lamenting that he has “no control” over the group and “can’t even ask what they are working on,” according to the summary.
Jan. 26: Lutsenko again meets with Giuliani and his team. A summary of the conversation indicates that the discussion focused again on corruption and efforts to combat it. Lutsenko also discussed a ledger of alleged under-the-table payments made by a Ukrainian political party, which included payments to Paul Manafort. The revelation of those payments led to Manafort’s resignation as Trump’s campaign chairman in August 2016.
Lutsenko also criticized Yovanovitch for her support of NABU.
Mid-February: Giuliani and Lutsenko meet in Warsaw, according to a complaint filed in August by an anonymous intelligence-community whistleblower.
March 5: Lutsenko sends Parnas an update on a speech being given by Yovanovitch in which she calls for the ouster of a questionable prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnitsky. Kholodnitsky was caught on tape coaching witnesses on how to avoid prosecution, which Yovanovitch argued in her speech made it impossible for him to prosecute those same crimes.
March 6: Lutsenko texts Parnas to again offer an update on Yovanovitch’s public anti-corruption statements.
March 8: Lutsenko texts Parnas again.
“Nazar is waiting,” the text says, according to a House Intelligence Committee translation. (All messages between Lutsenko and Parnas that follow similarly include the House translations.) The “Nazar” is probably Kholodnitsky. “I explained everything,” the message continues. “He’s ready to tell you about the bias.”
March 12: Parnas sends Lutsenko a message of outreach from John Solomon, then writing for The Hill. It includes 17 questions largely focused on Yovanovitch and Biden.
March 13: Lutsenko sends Parnas an angry message.
“I’m sorry, but this is all simply b---t,” Lutsenko wrote. “I’m f---g sick of all this. I haven’t received a visit. My [boss] hasn’t received jack all. I’m prepared to [thrash] your opponent. But you want more and more. We’re over.”
March 20: Phone records indicate that Parnas and Solomon spoke during the two days before March 20.
On that day, Solomon publishes several articles focused on allegations made by Lutsenko. One centers on alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, allegations focused on the release of the ledger of payments. Another article has Lutsenko announcing a probe of alleged interference. In a third, Lutsenko alleges that Yovanovitch gave him a list of people he was not allowed to prosecute.
Parnas asks Lutsenko to “send the names of the people she said” — an apparent reference to the people Lutsenko claimed Yovanovitch had told him not to prosecute. They include:
- Serhiy Leshchenko, then a member of parliament and journalist who helped draw attention to the ledger.
- Mustafa Nayyem, also a member of parliament.
- Vitaliy Shabunin, head of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, or AntAC.
“All are vocal NABU activists,” Lutsenko wrote.
One of Solomon’s articles mentioned AntAC, portraying it as corrupt and including a letter from the State Department’s George Kent arguing that any investigation of AntAC would be considered suspect by the United States.
“State officials told me privately they wanted Ukraine prosecutors to back off AntAC because they feared the investigation was simply retribution for the group’s high-profile efforts to force anticorruption reforms inside Ukraine,” Solomon wrote, “some of which took authorities and prestige from the Prosecutor General’s office.”
The list of names sent by Lutsenko to Parnas was included without further detail in the packet of material transmitted to the State Department.
Parnas and Solomon speak again. Shortly after they do, Trump promotes Solomon’s articles in a tweet.
March 22: Lutsenko texts Parnas.
“It’s just that if you don’t make a decision about Madam,” he writes, “you are bringing into question all my allegations. Including about B.”
“Madam” is understood to refer to Yovanovitch; the “decision” is about removing her from her position. “B” is believed to refer to Biden or Burisma. The implication of the message is that Lutsenko’s allegations about Biden or Burisma might be at risk — the sense in which that might happen is unclear — unless Yovanovitch is fired.
March 24 to 29: In messages with Robert Hyde, a Connecticut Republican who is running for Congress, Parnas is informed about Yovanovitch’s physical location.
March 26: Lutsenko claims in a text to Parnas that an investigation of Burisma and its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, is “progressing well.”
“There is testimony about transfers to B,” he writes.
Shortly afterward, in another message, he adds, “here you can’t even get rid of one fool” — again apparently referring to Yovanovitch.
“She’s not a simple fool trust me,” Parnas replies, adding in another message that “she’s not getting away.”
The same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks on the phone with Giuliani.
March 27: Giuliani and Pompeo speak again.
March 28: Parnas sends Lutsenko a message of support.
“I was asked to personally convey to you that America supports you and will not let you be harmed no matter how things look now,” Parnas writes. “[S]oon everything will turn around and we’ll be on the right course. Just so you know here people are talking about you as a true Ukrainian hero.”
Lutsenko replies: “I have copies of payments from Burisma to Seneca.”
A fuller set of documents released by the House Intelligence Committee and translated by The Post continues the conversation.
“For half a million,” Lutsenko clarifies, referring to the alleged payment.
“Can you send them?” Parnas asks.
“I’ll give them to you through the new ambassador,” Lutsenko replies, adding a smiling emoticon.
A first set of documents are sent to the State Department, including summaries of the January interviews.
March 31: Volodymyr Zelensky finishes in the top two in Ukrainian presidential voting, forcing a runoff with incumbent Petro Poroshenko.
April 1: Solomon first publishes an article alleging that Joe Biden’s call for the ouster of Shokin was predicated on an alleged Burisma investigation.
April 9: Lutsenko sends another message to Parnas, identifying individuals advising Zelensky. They include Leshchenko (who Lutsenko notes is “from Masha’s list,” meaning Yovanovitch), Shabunin (“associated with … Masha”) and Oleksandr Danylyuk, who would go on to serve as the equivalent of Zelensky’s national security adviser. Lutsenko also noted that Leshchenko and Shabunin visited NABU with the attorney for an oligarch supporting Zelensky. There, they “reached a total agreement about support for criminal matters.”
April 18: Lutsenko publicly retracts his claim that Yovanovitch had given him a list of people not to prosecute.
April 21: Zelensky wins the runoff by a wide margin. In a call with Trump, he asks that Trump attend his inauguration. Trump demurs, assuring Zelensky that the United States will be well represented.
April 23: Giuliani claims on Twitter that Ukraine is investigating interference in the 2016 U.S. election. In a message to Parnas, he writes that “he fired her again” — apparently a reference to Trump firing Yovanovitch.
April 24: Yovanovitch is recalled from Ukraine.
April 25: Solomon publishes an article focused on allegations of Ukrainian involvement in blaming Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Speaking to Fox News’s Sean Hannity later that evening, Trump suggests that it’s something Attorney General William P. Barr might be interested in investigating.
May 4: Lutsenko texts Parnas.
“Here they are saying that you’ll be sending a high-level delegation to the inaugural,” he writes.
“Well, you understand who’s working on this,” Parnas replies.
May 6: Once Yovanovitch’s removal is publicly reported, Parnas sends a message to Lutsenko, referring to it as a “good gift.”
May 9: Giuliani speaks with the New York Times about his plan to travel to Ukraine to push for investigations helpful to Trump.
May 10: Giuliani sends a letter to Zelensky seeking a meeting on May 13 or 14. He indicates that the request is “in [his] capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”
May 11: Under public pressure, Giuliani cancels his trip.
Lutsenko and Zelensky meet for several hours, according to the whistleblower.
May 12: Parnas meets with Serhiy Shefir, an aide to Zelensky. Parnas later claims that — at Giuliani’s direction — he told Shefir that unless Zelensky announced an investigation of the Bidens, Vice President Pence wouldn’t attend the inauguration.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Parnas claimed that the threat was broader, including a withholding of any aid to Ukraine.
May 13: An aide to Pence is told that the vice president had been ordered not to attend the inauguration.
May 16: Lutsenko and Parnas appear to have been scheduled to meet, but Lutsenko is late. He offers to speak by phone.
“I don’t have a choice,” Parnas replies. “I need to speak to you urgently because Rudy wants to speak to you very much he said so today this is very important.”
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Lutsenko says there’s no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.
May 19: In an interview with Fox News, Trump accuses Joe Biden of acting inappropriately in calling for Shokin’s ouster.
May 20: Zelensky is inaugurated. Then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry leads the U.S. delegation.
May 23: Perry and other U.S. officials brief Trump on the inauguration. The president orders them to work with Giuliani on Ukraine.
June 1: Lutsenko texts Parnas to ask when he expects Zelensky to arrive at a planned meeting. Parnas replies that Zelensky is expected shortly.
June 4: Lutsenko texts Parnas to ask whether Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is meeting with Zelensky. No response is recorded.
June 13: Trump tells ABC News that he would be open to accepting assistance from a foreign power for his campaign.
June 19: Trump learns about planned military aid to Ukraine and asks his staff to get more information. On Fox News, he claims that Ukraine was somehow involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, which it wasn’t.
June 21: Lutsenko sends Parnas a tweet from Giuliani focused on the investigations Trump sought. Lutsenko suggests that he should meet with Giuliani since he has “2-2.5 months,” presumably referring to his remaining time in his position.
“I have a plan,” Lutsenko writes.
June 28: In a call with Zelensky, the team Trump tasked with working with Giuliani on Ukraine reportedly tells Zelensky that a meeting with Trump is contingent on new investigations.
Paul Sonne contributed to this article.