In an extensive interview with the Daily Beast, Lev Parnas — the associate of Rudy Giuliani who is at the center of more allegations of corruption against Donald Trump — revealed details of a meeting he had with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner that the White House has tried to dismiss.
Speaking with the Beast’s Betsy Swan, Parnas stated that we was a participant at a private dinner at the Trump Hotel, with Swan writing, “In October 2018, he attended a dinner in a private suite at Trump Hotel hosted by the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The dinner, with around a dozen people, connected Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump with leaders in the cannabis industry. Parnas said he was invited because he “was a Trump loyalist,” and because the super PAC’s Director of Development Joey Ahearn knew he was pro-cannabis.”
According to Parnas, cannabis entrepreneurs were hoping to influence Kushner in the hope he could influence the White House’s stance on weed.
“They wanted Jared to be more involved, maybe help push the agenda with the president because they felt that that was something he needed to be more lenient on,” Parnas explained.
As for a picture taken with the couple that went viral, Parnas sais the White House was lying about the circumstances under which is was taken.
“The White House has claimed that a picture of Parnas with Kushner and Ivanka Trump was ‘taken at an event in a photo line.’” the report states. “Parnas, however, said it was taken at the intimate dinner with cannabis industry insiders. Two sources with knowledge of the dinner confirmed that it happened in October 2018 and that Parnas attended. The decor in the background of the picture–as Zack Everson, author of a newsletter on Trump properties noted–indicates the photo was taken in the pricey Trump Hotel suite where the dinner was hosted.”
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Trump Kills Nomination to Treasury of US Attorney in Charge of Overseeing Stone Prosecution Hours After Prosecutors Quit
Barely hours after all four federal prosecutors resigned from the Roger Stone case President Donald Trump has killed the nomination of the U.S. Attorney in charge of overseeing the prosecution of the president’s confidant, ally, and former campaign advisor, as Axios reports.
Trump had nominated Jessie Liu, the powerful U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, to become Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the Department of the Treasury.
Liu was slated to testify at her Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. In a curious occurrence Attorney General Bill Barr convinced Liu to leave office effective January 31. Barr then immediately replaced her with his hand-picked choice of Timothy Shea, a close adviser. Shea’s appointment, or at least his temporary appointment – he will need to be Senate confirmed – raised eyebrows because it skipped the candidate next in line.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia leads “the largest U.S. attorney’s office in the country, overseeing a number of politically charged prosecutions that included the case against Trump associates Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and other spinoffs from the Mueller investigation.”
Now Liu appears to be out of a job and the question is, “Why?”
Is this retaliation for the sentencing recommendation of 7 to 9 years in prison for Stone? Was the White House concerned Liun would be asked about the Stone sentencing reduction?
“This was ‘the president’s call,’ according to a former administration official familiar with the situation,” Axios reports. “The decision, which was made today, has administration officials questioning the circumstances that led to Trump changing his mind — with the developments in the Roger Stone case today being the only new information they are aware of.”
All Four Federal Prosecutors on Stone Case Have Now Resigned After DOJ and Trump Intervention
All four federal prosecutors on the Roger Stone case have resigned. One by one over the past few hours each notified the court that they had either resigned from the case of from the DOJ and from the case, in an apparent mass exodus over the Dept. of Justice overruling their sentencing recommendation. That move from DOJ came in apparent response to an angry overnight tweet from the president defending Stone and attacking DOJ.
“All four federal prosecutors have now resigned from the case against longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone,” CNN’s Brian Stelter reports in this quote from Wolf Blitzer. “This comes after the Justice Department reduced its original sentencing recommendation for Stone following public criticism by the president.”
Roger Stone is a longtime friend, ally, and confidant of Roger Stone, a conservative political operative who worked on the Trump campaign.
And # 4 is gone from the case.
Mike Marando, the fourth and final prosecutor to take Stone to trial, has told a judge he is withdrawing from the case. Marando is notable for his passionate closing argument to the jury at the trial: “Trial matters,” he told them. @kpolantz
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) February 11, 2020
Trump Says He Has the ‘Absolute Right’ to Tell DOJ What to Do – but Claims He Didn’t in Stone Case Despite Angry Tweet
President Donald Trump says he has the “absolute right” to direct the Dept. of Justice in who and how it prosecutes, but claims that he didn’t, despite his furious tweet overnight attacking the DOJ and calling prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation of Roger Stone a “miscarriage of justice.”
Trump also called the 7 to 9 year recommendation of jail time for Stone, his ally, confidant, and former campaign advisor, an “insult to our country.” Trump often conflates himself and the nation, as if he is the country.
Saying he did not speak to anyone at DOJ Trump then said, “I’d be able to do it if I wanted I have the absolute right to do it.”
Calling the sentencing recommendation “ridiculous” Trump added, “I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous.”
“That was a horrible abberition,” he concluded, apparently meaning “aberration.”
Asked about Roger Stone, Trump says he has an “absolute right” to tell the Justice Department what to do pic.twitter.com/AZRv9Aff7P
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 11, 2020
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