All politics is local and Florida, in many ways, is a small place. Certainly the politically active folks down there all know one another. Lev Parnas knew Ron DeSantis back in the day, 2018 to be precise, and he even contributed to DeSantis’s then-campaign. This was before Parnas got arrested at the airport. Since then, and especially now, DeSantis is seeking to distance himself mightily from knowing Parnas. Parnas has come forth and provided documentation proving that he paved the way for DeSantis to meet Donald Trump. Reuters:

DeSantis spokesman Dave Abrams did not respond to specific questions on the existence of the texts and Parnas’ account of their relationship. “This is another recycled narrative that has been proven wrong many times over,” he said. DeSantis gave back the contribution after Parnas ran into legal trouble.

The text messages reviewed by Reuters show that DeSantis frequently – in more than 20 texts – appealed to fellow Floridian Parnas for introductions, advice and other fundraising help during his hotly contested campaign for governor. Two sources close to DeSantis during his 2018 campaign confirmed the texter’s number belonged to DeSantis at that time.

The texts also reveal that Parnas served as an intermediary between DeSantis and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who at the time was the personal attorney of then-President Trump. In one case, 10 days before the 2018 election, DeSantis sent Parnas a text with suggested wording for a Giuliani tweet in support of his candidacy, the messages show. […]

Even before his criminal case, Parnas had an unusual resume for a political rainmaker. After moving to Florida from New York in 1995, he worked for penny stock companies that ran into regulatory problems, according to public records. In 2016, a federal court in New York issued a $508,734 judgment against him for defrauding an individual whose family trust lent Parnas money for a movie, called “Anatomy of an Assassin,” according to the judge’s ruling. Parnas says he did nothing wrong in that case.

Parnas is serving out his sentence under house arrest. Wearing shorts and an ankle bracelet, he spoke with Reuters for several hours at his home in Boca Raton. Parnas says he now regrets his alliance with Giuliani and Trump, believing he was used. He said he shared the texts with Reuters because he feels betrayed by DeSantis, who he says stopped returning texts or calls once he won the governor’s race.

Parnas once considered DeSantis a close confidant, he said. “We became very friendly.”

DeSantis wants to bury that part of his past, make no mistake. Parnas and DeSantis met when DeSantis was first running for governor. Intriguingly, Dana Rohrabacher’s name came up at this time, with DeSantis and Parnas. Rohrabacher was still a congressman and Putin’s purported favorite congressman, at that. Parnas was thinking of getting into the cannabis business and wanted to talk to DeSantis about that. Shortly after the alleged meeting with Parnas, DeSantis came out in favor of medical marijuana.

And of course, since Rudy Giuliani is a key player here, expect it to be that much more off the rails.

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