A new report from Politico suggest House Intel Chair Adam Schiff may have mischaracterized a text message exchange involving Lev Parnas.
The report notices a discrepancy between the un-redacted version and the summary letter Schiff sent to House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler and shows how Schiff may have referred to the wrong “Mr. Z.”
Politico reports House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump.
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.
But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.
The word document contains a series of questions and answers, but doesn’t identify who is doing the asking or answering. Yet the questions center on the hiring practices at Burisma, while the responses include statements such as “we wanted to build Burisma as [an] international company” and “we also thought it would help in Ukraine to have strong international board figures,” which seems to point to Zlochevsky — not the Ukrainian president — as the respondent.
it appears that Democrats misjudged at least one instance where they thought they found an example of Parnas trying to arrange a meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky, according to the unredacted material. Democrats didn’t receive the Parnas evidence from the courts until last week and were scrambling to sort through all the materials ahead of the Senate impeachment trial.
A Republican aide said the assumption that “mr Z” is a reference to Zelensky is sloppy oversight work at best.
“The most charitable view of the situation is that [Schiff’s] staff committed the equivalent of Congressional malpractice by not looking more than an inch deep to determine the facts before foisting this erroneous information on his colleagues and the American public,” said one senior GOP aide.
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