Documents reveal Pompeo-Giuliani links as Parnas reportedly willing to testify Devin Nunes met with ex-Ukrainian official
A cache of state department documents and a CNN report dealt twin blows to Republicans defending Donald Trump late on Friday, until then a relatively quiet day in the impeachment inquiry after a week of dramatic public hearings.
Documents released by the state department in response to a freedom of information lawsuit showed secretary of state Mike Pompeo talked with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, commonly described as Trumps personal lawyer, on 26 March and 29 March this year, months before the US ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly recalled.
Pompeo, widely reported to be considering leaving the Trump administration to run for Senate in Kansas, has been repeatedly linked to Giulianis apparently extra-governmental work in Ukraine, work which sits at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
CNNs Cuomo Prime Time, meanwhile, reported that a lawyer for Lev Parnas, one of two Soviet-born American associates of Giuliani indicted on campaign finance charges, said his client was willing to tell Congress about meetings between Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, and a former Ukrainian prosecutor general in Vienna in 2018, allegedly held to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
Trumps attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election rather than Russian sit at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
In televised hearings, US officials have outlined what Democrats claim is Trumps extensive abuse of power, among such behaviour the move to recall the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. She testified last week.
Nunes has led Republicans defence of the president, deriding the hearings as a circus and the charges against the president as a politically motivated sham.