Impeachment Against Donald Trump: What Does Lev Parnas Know? | The World | Dw

This story could perhaps begin with Anatevka, the Ukrainian village in which the musical "The violinist on the roof" takes place. In one of the best known scenes, the milkman Tevje expresses his dream of a better life in a song: " Would it be so terrible if I had a small fortune? ” To what follows the well-known verse: "If I were rich, yadi dadi dadi didu didu didu didu dum."

What does milkman Tevje have to do with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, the true rich man? Well, those who are following the entanglements of the "impeachment" to the president and what happens with the witness Lev Parnas, stumble inevitably with Anatevka. Not with the musical people, but with a foundation called Amigos de Anatevka, created by the Ukrainian rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman The goal of Friends of Anatevka is to offer a future to the Jews of eastern Ukraine, precisely in Ukraine, the country that is at the center of the investigations against the president.

"What would Tevje think of this?"


Lev Parnas was arrested in October on US soil for financial crimes, shortly before he tried to leave the country. Parnas could become a centerpiece of the case. According to news reports, he was – and may still be – one of the members of the Friends of Anatevka address, on whose website the Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani can also be discovered, specifically in a photo in which he poses proudly next to Rabbi Azman. The New York Jewish Week newspaper already reported these connections last year, wondering: "What would Tevje think of this?"

Giuliani was the man who wove Trump's threads with Ukraine. And Parnas, sometimes described by Giuliani as a businessman and sometimes as a partner, is the one who best knows Eastern Europe. This man born in Odessa has also been described as a fixer: the one who makes the important contacts, the one who knows the right people.

A coffee at the hotel: Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani (left) and Lev Parnas

When Trump was recently asked in the rose garden of the White House about Parnas and about another dubious figure in the case, the answer was hardly surprising: "I don't know this man." In any case, Giuliani would be glad he had never met this man, who has no qualms about talking to journalists and telling the whole story. His version of the story, of course.

"President Trump knew exactly what was going on," Parnas said in an interview on the "Rachel Maddow Show" on the MSNBC network. "I knew all my movements. I would not have done anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president," Parnas said. Something similar told The New York Times. And what is worse for Trump: Parnas has also leaked information to the Democrats in Congress.

I thought I would be a patriot

But what does Parnas really know? Trump would have lied to say he didn't know him, Parnas said in an interview with MSNBC. He told the New York newspaper that he regrets supporting Trump in the campaign in Ukraine. “I thought I would be a patriot by helping the president.” Then he thought he couldn't be doing something wrong, he says.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who also worked with Giuliani, after being arrested

US Democrats have published documents that would show that Giuliani and Parnas pressured the government in Kiev to open an investigation against presidential Democrat Joe Biden. Both, with Ukrainian representatives, would have tried to remove the US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was eventually dismissed by Trump. And with this we reach the heart of the political trial process.

Fascinating testimonials?

It will soon be fought in the Senate about whether there will be room to hear even more fascinating testimonies, such as Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic candidate, who has business in Ukraine. We may not listen again to talk about Lev Parnas. Have you reached an agreement in your own interest? He is charged with charges of illegal campaign financing. Now he just needs some luck. What did the milkman Tevje say in Anatevka? "Would it be so terrible if I had a small fortune?" And then, again, the famous verse: "If I were rich, yadi dadi dadi didu didu didu didu dum."

(eal / dz)

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