Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is facing accusations that he either knowingly or accidentally falsified a summary of evidence that he sent to his Democrat colleague Jerry Nadler ahead of President Donald Trump’s active Senate impeachment trial.
Schiff is leading the campaign to remove President Trump from office for asking the president of Ukraine to help in his efforts investigating Joe Biden’s alleged corruption in Ukraine involving his son Hunter’s board membership on the gas company Burisma Holdings. Now, it seems clear that Schiff mixed up the identity of Ukraine president Zelensky and the owner of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, when referring to Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’ efforts in the Biden investigation. Republican insiders are spreading the accusation that Schiff lied intentionally.
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.
But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.
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Republicans hope to show Schiff as a compromised figure in the Ukraine affair. Schiff was the beneficiary of a D.C. fundraiser thrown by arms dealer Igor Pasternak, who was born in the Soviet Union, did business in Ukraine, and has been integrally involved in Ukraine-US relations for years. Schiff thereafter became a major proponent of sending a package of U.S. taxpayer money to Ukraine for defense purposes.
Schiff has already garnered derision for presenting a false transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Zelensky in front of the House of Representatives, defending his actions by stating his presentation was a work of “parody.”