As only the third Impeachment trial in the history unveils in the Senate against US President Donald Trump, a brief portion of a private dinner recorded with a cell phone was leaked last week. In the confidential footage, Trump can be heard talking to Lev Parnas, a man US President has repeatedly denied knowing and they discuss former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
According to international media reports, the recording is believed to be from 2018 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington where Parnas can be heard warning Trump about the possibility of impeachment and about ex-Ukrain Envoy. The US President, however, replies after a brief pause and said 'get rid of her'. The statements in the leaked recording contradict the claims made by the US President and support Parnas' narrative who has confessed discussing Yovanovitch and impeachment with Trump.
The private meeting at a hotel in 2018 included Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman who are two former business associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and have been indicted in New York. In the same recording, the two Giuliani associates can be heard informing the US President about Yovanovitch bad-mouthing the leader. Some of the international reports have also stated that the man recording the footage on a cellphone is Fruman.
This recording again puts in light the statements made by ex-Ukraine envoy at the impeachment hearings before the trial. She had accepted being a victim of a secret plot by Trump along with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani which also led to her removal from the office on November 5 last year. US President had also referred to Yovanovitch during his controversial phone call with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 which is the centre of the impeachment against him.
However, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham had reportedly said every President 'has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his Administration'. In the recording, Parnas can be heard calling Yovanovitch as 'leftover from the Clinton administration' which is then followed by US President's demand to 'take her out'.