House impeachment committee obtains recordings of Trump, Giuliani - ABC News

The recordings were presented by one of Giuliani's colleagues, who was arrested on suspicion of committing federal violations relating to campaign fraud.

Rudy Giuliani delivers remarks before Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S., September 28, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST)
Rudy Giuliani delivers remarks before Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S., September 28, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST)
The House Intelligence Committee has reportedly obtained audio and video recordings from associates close to former New York mayor and President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, related to attempts to persuade the Ukrainian government to launch political investigations that would directly benefit the president in his re-election campaign bid.
The recordings, presented to the committee by Lev Parnas – one Giuliani's colleagues who was arrested on suspicion of committing a number of different federal violations relating to campaign fraud – contains conversations between Giuliani and Trump, according to ABC News.
Parnas, who helped Giuliani look for dirt on Trump's political rival, former vice president Joe Biden, is a key figure in the impeachment inquiry - which the House committee, led by chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), is currently leading.
"Mr. Parnas has vociferously and publicly asserted his wish to comply with his previously issued subpoena and to provide the House Intelligence Committee with truthful and important information that is in furtherance of justice, not to obstruct it," his attorney said in a statement.
The recordings were obtained by the committee via a subpoena, but ABC reports that some of the information requested still remains in the hands of federal investigators.
“We will honor and not avoid the committee’s requests to the extent they are legally proper, while scrupulously protecting Mr Parnas’s privileges including that of the Fifth Amendment,” said the lawyer, Joseph Bondy, referring to his client's constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
That includes delving into information on a meeting he had with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), implying that aides employed by the congressman allegedly attempted and succeeded to hide information on the Ukraine meetings from the House committee.
"Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian prosecutor general Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December," his Bondy told CNN.
The two Giuliani associates have become a major part of the House impeachment inquiry, which directly stems from efforts to oust former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch - viewed as an obstacle in persuading the Ukrainian government to "launch politically charged investigations" against democratic opponents, according to The Hill.
Parnas pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court last month to being part of a scheme that used a shell company to donate money to a pro-Trump election committee and illegally raise money for a former congressman, as part of an effort to have the president remove the US ambassador to Ukraine.
The indictment does not address the issues involved in the impeachment inquiry.
Parnas will be a crucial witness if he continues to cooperate. He has said he played a key role in connecting Giuliani to Ukrainian officials during Giuliani's investigation into Biden and his son Hunter.
Trump's request to Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a July 25 phone call to investigate Biden, was at the heart of a whistleblower complaint by an intelligence officer, sparking the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry on September 24.
Reuters contributed to this report.