Video shows Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman interacting with RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at donor event

A new video released by news organizations on Thursday shows Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — indicted associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — engaging with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at a donor event at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida estate, in April 2018.

The release of the video — which was first reported by Politico and The Washington Post — presents evidence that counters the narrative Trump and his Republican allies have tried to advance throughout the Senate impeachment trial: Trump was not close to Parnas or Fruman, two Soviet-born donors to his campaign who have been indicted on campaign finance crimes. 

Parnas and Fruman have been subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee for information relating to Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Parnas’s attorney, Joseph Bondy, who reportedly released the video, has asked a judge for permission to comply with the congressional subpoena several times since November. 

Campaign records show Parnas donated $50,000 to Trump in 2016, though the president denies knowing him and has described him as a “groupie” and a “con man.” A previous video released by Parnas’s lawyer showed what appeared to be a conversation between Trump and Parnas, in which Trump calls for former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to be removed from her post. 

Parnas is on the list of people Democrats would like to call in to testify. He attempted to enter the Senate Gallery on Wednesday but was not allowed in because of his ankle bracelet; no electronics are allowed in the trial. 

The video shows McDaniel greeting Fruman with familiarity, saying “good to see you,” and “so glad you’re here.” The video later shows Parnas approaching the president and taking a picture. 

“On a given day, the Chairwoman greets hundreds if not thousands of people at events across the country,” an RNC spokesperson told The Hill. “This is nothing more than that.”

Tags Donald Trump Marie Yovanovitch Ronna McDaniel Rudy Giuliani

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