Trump campaign against Ukraine envoy roils impeachment

A recording obtained by ABC News appears to capture President Donald Trump telling associates he wanted the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch fired while speaking at a small gathering that included Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman - two former business associates of Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who have since been indicted in NY.

According to ABC, the voice that sounds like Trump apparently told aides at the April 2018 dinner at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., to "Get her out tomorrow".

"Get rid of her!" I don't care. Get her out tomorrow.

"Take her out!" Trump reportedly said on the recording to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, after being told that the career foreign service officer was "badmouthing" him in Kyiv.

Continuing his argument against Trump's impeachment, Chabot brought up the Clinton impeachment trial and stated, "In the [Richard] Nixon and Clinton impeachment, abuse of power was a tacked-on charge-far less important in those cases than the actual high crimes charged against both of them".

In an effort to make their impeachment case against President Donald Trump, House Democrats, specifically Jerry Nadler of NY, used a 1999 video of Republican Lindsey Graham, which goes against his recent arguments defending Trump. He said that after Trump ordered Yovanovitch to be dismissed, "there was a silence in the room".

This audio recording serves as a major blow to Trump's continued insistence that he knows neither Parnas or Fruman.

"I don't know how the issue is - the conversation came up, but I do remember me telling the president that the ambassador was badmouthing him and saying he was going to get impeached".

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"She's basically walking around telling everybody 'Wait, he's gonna get impeached, just wait, '" Parnas tells Trump.

President Donald Trump can be heard in a taped 2018 conversation saying he wants to get rid of the USA ambassador to Ukraine, whose removal a year later emerged as an issue in President Trump's impeachment.

In November, federal prosecutors questioned Bondy about whether his client had been operating on behalf of Ukrainians at the dinner with Trump when Parnas said the ambassador was bad-mouthing the President, according to people familiar with the matter.

Parnas, days later, told Lutsenko that "soon everything will turn around and we'll be on the right course".

He said DeStefano replied it couldn't happen at the time because Mike Pompeo had not yet been confirmed as secretary of state. And, importantly, it also seems to contradict the president's claim that he does not know who Parnas is.

Yovanovitch, who was viewed as an obstacle to probes into Biden and his son, Hunter, was not recalled from her position until the following April.

The audiotape lines up with what Parnastold MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about the Trump dinner in an interview last week.

During Friday's session, the Democrats focused on the second article of impeachment, which accuses the president of obstructing the House's investigation of the Ukraine matter by withholding documents and barring administration officials from testifying.

  • Sonia Alvarado