Parnas: Trump Allies ‘Tried To Keep Me Quiet,’ Pushed Me To Sacrifice Myself For POTUS

Lev Parnas arrives at a federal court on December 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
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January 17, 2020 9:28 a.m.

Indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas charged on Thursday night that his now-former lawyers, who are close to President Donald Trump, tried to get him to throw himself under the bus to protect the President.

Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he fired John Dowd, who previously served as Trump’s lawyer, and Kevin Downing, Paul Manafort’s ex-lawyer, after they visited him in jail and “started talking to me like a drill sergeant and giving me orders” instead of trying to help him with his criminal indictment for campaign finance violations.

“Were they telling you to sacrifice yourself in order to protect the President?” asked Maddow.

“That’s what I felt,” he said.

The MSNBC host followed up with: “Is the implication of this story of the lawyers that you feel that people loyal to the President and close to the President were trying to influence your defense and your case in a way that was against your interests but in the President’s interests?”

“Absolutely,” Parnas responded. “I think they tried to keep me quiet.”

Parnas also told Maddow that Giuliani was furious when Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky announced an investigation into corruption without mentioning Joe Biden.

“Giuliani blew his lid on that, saying, ‘That’s not what we discussed,’ that it wasn’t supposed to be a corruption investigation announcement, it has to be about Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and Burisma,” he said.

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