President Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he hardly knows Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
But Thursday, Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy, released a new video Bondy argues illustrates that Parnas had access to Trump multiple times and knew him well.
Parnas insists Trump knew he was part of a team of people who the president wanted to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats in exchange for releasing military aid to the country.
In the 37-minute long video taken on April 20, 2018, Parnas and Trump are seen taking photos together at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
The recording also shows Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee Chairwoman, hugging Igor Fruman, another of Giuliani’s business associates. She says she is glad that he is at the Florida resort and asks if he had ever been to the club.
“On a given day, the Chairwoman greets hundreds if not thousands of people at events across the country,” a spokesman said in a statement Thursday. “This is nothing more than that.”
The video was recorded ten days before the two men met again at a dinner in the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., according to Bondy.
A video of the Washington, D.C. dinner from April 30, 2018, which was released Saturday, captured Trump appearing to say he wants to “get rid” of the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Bondy said Parnas attended both dinners in Florida and Washington with Fruman. Both Parnas and Fruman have been indicted on federal charges, including violating campaign finance laws. Bondy said he sees the recordings as critical to the public’s understanding of the relationship between Parnas, Fruman and Trump.
The release of the second video recording comes one day after both Parnas and Bondy came to Washington, D.C. to argue in front cameras that Parnas should be called as a witness during the ongoing Senate impeachment trial.
“The president knew everything that was going on in Ukraine, and he put pressure,” Parnas told NewsHour when asked what he would like to tell senators.
Parnas was not allowed in the Capitol building or the Senate chamber because he must wear an electronic monitoring device as part of his conditional release from federal custody. Electronic devices are not allowed inside the chamber. Bondy, however, watched part of the proceeding in the Senate gallery.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump in December on two articles–abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate trial will determine whether Trump is acquitted of those charges or convicted and removed from office.