Trump defenders haunted by past talk on impeachment

Trump Heard On Tape Telling Parnas, Fruman To 'Get Rid Of' Yovanovitch

Trump impeachment: President told associates to 'get rid' of Ukraine ambassador, tapes reportedly reveal

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.

An audio recording appeared to capture US President Donald Trump calling in 2018 for the firing of the then US ambassador to Ukraine, a main figure in the series of events that led to his impeachment, ABC News reported on Friday. "And I told the President that - our opinion - that (Ambassador Yovanovitch) is bad-mouthing him and that she said that he's gonna get impeached - something like that".

The dinner was the subject of an investigation by federal prosecutors in NY, who in October accused Parnas and Fruman of campaign finance violations. He said that after Trump ordered Yovanovitch to be dismissed, "there was a silence in the room". He said he brought Parnas back to his "cloud" and Parnas found the audio.

News of the recording came as Democrats prepared to lay out the details of the second of two impeachment charges against Trump - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - on Friday afternoon.

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House investigators have been attempting to document - in part with text messages supplied by Parnas - an nearly year-long effort on the part of Parnas and Giuliani to get Yovanovitch removed from her post. Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the golf icon, and NY real estate developer Stanley Gale also attended the event for a pro-Trump group. When they tell Trump this, the US President is heard saying, "Get rid of her!" The benign explanation is that he was asking the ambassador to be fired when he told an aide to "get rid of her" and "take her out".

Trump says that he believes he would have had a harder time in 2016 if Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee.

"First, the Vice President said he knew nothing about it, but the State Department knew about it because they were concerned when people were being put up for confirmation that that issue might arise". I don't know Parnas other than, I guess, I had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people.... Don't know what he's about, don't know where he comes from, know nothing about him.

Trump also seemed to question the USA involvement in the Korean War: "How we ever got involved in South Korea in the first place, tell me about it". Both Parnas and Fruman were ordered to turn over Ukraine-related documents to the House impeachment investigators, but refused. He has also attacked Yovanovitch on Twitter by claiming that every place she went "turned bad".

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One email exchange appears to suggest Parnas and his associates had Yovanovitch "under physical surveillance in Kyiv", according to the committee's cover letter.

Parnas said Trump reacted immediately.

Manhattan federal prosecutors alleged in an October campaign finance indictment of Parnas and Fruman that they committed to raise money for Sessions in May and June 2018, while also seeking "his assistance" in having Yovanovitch removed.

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