An aide to Donald Trump’s lawyer claims the president “knew exactly what was going on” with efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son.
Lev Parnas told MSNBC he went to Ukraine to put pressure on officials on behalf of Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
The alleged intention was to damage Mr Biden, a potential Democratic rival to Mr Trump in next year’s US election.
President Trump denies involvement.
The US president also says that he does not know Mr Parnas – a Ukrainian-American businessman and Republican party donor who is facing separate charges of campaign finance violations.
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The extent of Mr Trump’s involvement in the alleged plan to undermine Mr Biden – whose son Hunter Biden was on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma – will be examined in his impeachment trial, which is due to begin next week in the US Senate.
He is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
What did Lev Parnas say?
In the interview aired on Wednesday, Mr Parnas said Mr Trump was “aware of all my movements”.
“I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. Why would [Ukrainian] President Zelensky’s inner circle or [Interior] Minister [Arsen] Avakov or all these people or [former] President [Petro] Poroshenko meet with me?
“Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that’s the secret that they’re trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work,” he added.