The next name that is going to be on the lips of every pundit and talking head in Washington, D.C., is Lev Parnas, who went on the Rachel Maddow Show Wednesday night to allege that he was sent to Ukraine at the behest of Rudy Guiliani and President Trump to dig up dirt on the Bidens. This interview came on the very same day the impeachment articles were delivered to the Senate, and if you think that was an accident, I have a bridge to sell you. This is the October surprise delivered in January that everyone should have seen coming the minute Nancy Pelosi refused to turn over the articles of impeachment.
Parnas told Maddow, who appeared deeply concerned with her trademark furrowed brow, “President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Guiliani or the president.” This is in relation to the president trying to find out whatever the hell the Bidens were doing with a Ukrainian gas company. (Call me crazy, but I still want to get to the bottom of it too. It seems like it might be the American president’s job to find out if an American vice president and his son are involved in corruption, but maybe that’s just me.)
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 16, 2020
Parnas also alleges that Devin Nunes was involved in trying to dig up dirt on the Bidens (or, in other words, find out if they were breaking laws), which he thinks is unethical because Nunes was involved in the impeachment hearings investigating the president’s conversation with President Zelensky. This is old news. There is nothing new here other than one more person with an allegation of quid pro quo that is not a crime, rather what we normally call “business as usual” in Washington, D.C. There was no money exchanged, no promise of money to be exchanged, and at least one witness the Democrats brought forward quoting the president as saying “I want nothing! I want no quid pro quo!” The actual bribery, if you’re looking for some, was caught on tape when Joe Biden admitted to shaking down the president of Ukraine, demanding he fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma, the company paying Hunter Biden huge sums of money to have his name listed on the board, or they wouldn’t get 1 BILLION dollars.
Joe Biden brags about how he threatened to pull $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden's son, Hunter pic.twitter.com/xZd3vIMbuL
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 20, 2019
If the Bidens committed crimes or were involved in corruption in a foreign country, then it would be the business of every American lawmaker to find out, including Nunes. I still, for the life of me, can’t figure out what the scandal is supposed to be, other than the Bidens are up to their elbows in a Ukrainian money jar. How is it the president’s fault for wanting to find out what they were up to? According to Maddow fans on Twitter, though, this is the hat trick and Drumpf is toast.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 16, 2020
Parnas also alleged that Mike Pence was involved because he took a trip to Poland.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 16, 2020
Maddow is very, very excited.
Part Two: Tomorrow/Thursday, 9PM ET, MSNBC.
(deleted earlier tweet in which I called "tomorrow" Tuesday. CAN YOU TELL I HAVE NOT SLEPT).
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) January 16, 2020
But here’s the biggest problem I see (besides Parna’s terribly unfortunate hair situation): why didn’t the Democrats call this guy to the impeachment hearings? Are we to believe they did not know that this story was out there and only found out on the day the articles of impeachment went to the senate? Unlikely.
This is a well-orchestrated plot to gum up the works. Nancy Pelosi deliberately withheld the articles, most likely so they could have more time to dig up someone to do this. I’m surprised Parnas is not represented by Gloria Allred! Why is this man not testifying under oath? Why did he take this so-called “bombshell” information to a Democrat hack television show instead of to lawmakers?
Here’s what will happen next. The Democrats have already launched a complaint against Nunes for an ethics violation. After that, they will call on the Senate to put Parnas on the witness stand and try to litigate the articles of impeachment all over again. But that’s not how any of this works. The House had a simple job: Hold hearings, interview all the witnesses they could dig up from under rocks, write their little articles of shampeachement, and then close the books and send them to the Senate. They are not supposed to be fishing for more witnesses so they can drag this thing out until the election. Mark my words, that’s exactly what they have planned.
The president sent out a tweet before this “bombshell” interview that actually strikes me as completely relevant to the current hit job. “Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!”
Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2020
I’m not sure if he was referring to the Parnas “revelation,” but it fits perfectly. You don’t drop important witnesses after the hearing. You do your due diligence and bring your best forward under oath. But go ahead, Democrats. Put him on the stand and let him swear an oath to tell the truth. It changes nothing. Investigating Joe Biden for possible crimes like blackmailing the president of another country so he won’t send your son to jail is not a crime. It’s the opposite of that.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo” and the host of “The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter