Monday, October 21, 2019

Donnie and Rudy and Lev and Igor

Rudy Giuliani denies working for oligarch/crook/Putin-crony Dmitry Firtash. But Rudy's pals Lev and Igor cannot offer any such denial; just Google the terms "Firtash" and "Parnas" together and you'll be inundated with data.

Trump, for his part, claims that he doesn't know Lev and Igor. Actual quote: ""I don't know those gentlemen." Sure, said Trump, there might be a photo of us together. But so what? I take lots of photos with lots of people.

That's fair enough -- on the surface. But what if the evidence keeps mounting? Here's an incomplete visual album...

This is from the Daily Beast.
The private Instagram account of Lev Parnas—one of two Rudy Giuliani associates charged with campaign-finance violations—reveals a personal note to him apparently from Donald Trump. The Wall Street Journal gained access to the locked account which shows Parnas at events with Giuliani, Donald Jr., Eric, President Trump, and his ex-wife Ivana. One photograph shows a note apparently signed by Trump and first lady Melania Trump, which reads: “To Lev Parnas, Thank you for your friendship and dedication to our cause. Leaders like you in Florida are key to fulfilling our bold agenda to Make America Great Again!” The photos also show Parnas in the leadup to the midterm elections flying around on a private jet with Giuliani. The day after Barr released a summary of the Mueller Report, he posted photos from a “celebration dinner” with Trump’s legal team.
Doesn't Melania's signature resemble her husband's? Odd.
The latest info dump reveals that Rudy and Parnas toured the fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral. They definitely got around. Sorta like Butch and Sundance...Jay and Silent Bob...Steve Rogers and Bucky...

Donald, don't remember dinner? You're going to hurt Lev's feelings!

That one is from 2014. Some fashion thing that Ivana put together. Now let's review the photo you already know....

And here's the famous "power breakfast" with Don Jr. at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge.

This image illustrates many things. For one thing, it illustrates why I doubt that Parnas was just a "translator" for Dmitry Firtash. (See post below.) Actual professional translators feel thrilled when they are able to afford brunch at El Torito; they do not customarily dine at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge.

Remember when I told you that Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky would play a role in this story? Here he is.
The 56-year-old billionaire was not just a major supporter of Zelensky’s. He owned the television channel that had broadcast the comedy shows in which the newcomer had once played the part of the president of Ukraine, which had made him a household name.

Parnas and Fruman jetted to Israel in late April to meet Kolomoisky, who was living in self-exile after the previous administration took over a bank he founded amid accusations of fraudulent loans and money laundering. (Kolomoisky has vehemently denied the allegations.)

The meeting went badly.

In an interview, Kolomoisky said he was led to believe Parnas and Fruman wanted to talk about their new export business. Instead, he said, they pushed to meet with Zelensky. “I told them I am not going to be a middleman in anybody’s meetings with Zelensky,” he said to reporters for BuzzFeed News and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. “I am not going to organize any meetings. Not for them, not for anybody else. They tried to say something like, ‘Hey, we are serious people here. Giuliani. Trump.’ They started throwing names at me.”

Kolomoisky called Parnas and Fruman “fraudsters” in an interview shortly after the meeting. Soon after, a lawyer for the two men filed a claim for damages and told police in Kiev that the oligarch had threatened their lives.

“It was a threat that we took seriously,” said Parnas.

Giuliani jumped into the dispute, denouncing Kolomoisky in tweets as a “notorious oligarch” who “must be held accountable for threats.”
That was early in the Zelensky administration. I think that, in the time since, Team Trump may have turned Kolomoisky around. The FBI has been investigating Kolomoisky concerning (if I recall correctly) investments in the U.S. Bill Barr obviously has the power to make those charges go away.

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