KEY POINTS

  • Parnas said he faced pressure to not cooperate with the House
  • His family is "scared" as Parnas faces White House intimidation, he said
  • Parnas believes going to the public will help protect him

Lev Parnas, the Rudy Giuliani associate facing federal indictment, has been doing the public speaking rounds for largely one reason: Because he’s afraid of President Donald Trump and his administration. In the second segment of his interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, aired Thursday night, Parnas said that he’s felt serious intimidation from the White House and others.

Parnas described meetings with lawyers representing both him and Trump while he was being held in federal jail, where they tried to convince him to not cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry. He also said he felt pressure from White House officials.

“My wife is scared. My kids are nervous... Am I scared, yes,” Parnas told Maddow. He said he was particularly worried about U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who Parnas said has helped Trump expand his powers since taking up the appointment.

Parnas said by going to the public about the alleged illegal dealings the Trump administration had with the Ukrainian government, he was protecting himself.

He also said that while some critics like to compare the Trump administration to organized crime, Parnas views the president as having become more of “a cult leader.”

Between Parnas’ two-part interview with Maddow and the trove of documents sourced from him and released by the House, the former Giuliani associate has proven to be a major thorn in the side of a president preparing to face down an impeachment trial.

In addition to providing further proof of how various people connected to Trump sought to cajole the Ukrainian government into investigating Hunter Biden, Parnas has said and demonstrated how Trump and his entire team were fully aware of the dealings and were aware that they were not above board.

In one portion of the recently released documents linked to Parnas, communications showed that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was being followed and intimidated by people working for Robert Hyde, as associate of his. This revelation has prompted officials in Ukraine to open their own investigation of these activities.

The Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump is set to begin next Tuesday. While these recent revelations no doubt have serious implications for Ukraine scandal, it is unclear whether Parnas’ documents will be presented as evidence during the trial.

Democrats released newly acquired files that showed Giuliani working with Lev Parnas (right) in 2019 to pressure Kiev to investigate Joe Biden Democrats released newly acquired files that showed Giuliani working with Lev Parnas (right) in 2019 to pressure Kiev to investigate Joe Biden Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / STEPHANIE KEITH