I will admit that I am on the hunt for optimism. After all, last week could not possibly have gone better with respect to the impeachment inquiry. Except, not according to Republicans, who watched it all and declared themselves victorious. Oh, and Trump – too, who has been on Twitter all weekend talking about how he’s basically “won.”
But here’s something.
Lev Parnas’s life is in the balance. He has been charged with serious crimes and he is neither a young, nor fit, man. Parnas has problems.
Perhaps no one alive knows more about the dirt that exists “out there” on Trump than Lev Parnas. If there was anyone who might pin his strategy upon staying silent, staying loyal, and betting on a hopelessly corrupt pardon, it would be old Lev. After all, if Parnas made an understanding, “silence for a pardon,” Trump would near have to honor it. Yet Lev is not staying silent, loyal, or even neutral. Without even a deal on the table, Lev is selling out Trump, which at this point also means selling out Republicans.
The House Intelligence Committee is in possession of audio and video recordings and photographs provided to the committee by Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly played a key role in assisting him in his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
The material submitted to the committee includes audio, video and photos that include Giuliani and Trump. It was unclear what the content depicts and the committees only began accessing the material last week.
I am a lawyer, and I cannot conceive of a means by which a congressional committee can grant immunity from prosecution to anyone. At every level of government, right down to your municipal government, prosecution is always an executive function. So, even if Congress and Schiff were interested in a deal with Parnas, Parnas would still be taking a massive risk in making that “deal.” But they haven’t even gotten to that point yet, and Parnas is already handing over evidence this damning? Video? Tapes? No one purposefully videotapes meaningless conversations, they must be relevant.
(Okay, yes, there is a chance that the stuff Parnas handed over is specific disinformation, false stuff, shit that a top-level player might need “Just in case.” There is a chance it is all bullshit. But if he wanted to pass along disinformation, he would be doing it quietly, really trying to “sell it” to the Congress itself, not talking about it in the media.)
It sure looks to me like a guy who knows more than just about anyone on the planet about what all has gone on is betting that he will be on the right side of history – and on the right side of the jail house – if he starts spilling to Congress, now. Not only is Parnas giving Congress evidence without a deal on the table, he is going to the press to talk about it, almost as if he wants to buy himself “approval ratings” that will come in handy twelve to eighteen months down the road, when he’s standing in front of a judge.
Obviously, it is impossible to know from the outside.
But one thing is clear. A great many Trump co-conspirators have made the bet that lying and staying silent will guarantee their future. This guy, who may know more than all of them combined about the worst evidence out there, the type of material that will inevitably now come out, has made the opposite bet.
That is something.
Which is all I am looking for right now.
firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MiciakZoom