Lev Parnas Implicates Kremlin In 2020 Election Interference Scandal
Rudy Giuliani’s former business partner, Lev Parnas, implicated a Ukrainian oligarch with ties to the Kremlin in the 2020 election interference scandal, according to The Atlantic.
After being featured in a televised interview and in documents Parnas supplied to Congress, it seems that oligarch Dmytro Firtash fits somewhere near the heart of the Ukraine scandal.
According to Parnas, Giuliani’s team had a deal with Firtash: Giuliani would get the Justice Department to drop its attempt to extradite the oligarch on bribery charges if the oligarch promised to pass along evidence that would supposedly discredit both Joe Biden and Robert Mueller.
Dmytro Firtash is typically associated with his alleged connections to Russian organized crime, but has been described as a “Kremlin Influence agent” by the Atlantic Council’s Anders Aslund.
Firtash was responsible for selling Russian gas to Ukraine in 2002, on behalf of Russian state-owned Gazprom. A Reuters investigation discovered that Firtash was sold gas by Gazprom at four times below the market price and when he resold the gas to the Ukrainian state, he pocketed a profit of $3 billion. Bankers close to Putin extended the oligarch an additional $11 billion line of credit even as he amassed this fortune.
According to the Daily Beast, Firtash has long resented Joe Biden. As vice president, Biden promoted an anti-corruption agenda that liberated Ukraine’s energy sector from Firtash’s dominance. He seemed to praise the Ukrainian government for “closing the space for corrupt middlemen who rip off the Ukrainian people,” when he visited Kyiv in 2015. Firtash then described Biden as an “overlord” and said, “I was ashamed to look at this. I was repulsed.”
The hardly definitive account of Lev Parnas, however, can only connect Firtash’s involvement to a deal made with Giuliani’s team, the rest is only speculation with the current evidence.