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Lev Parnas directly implicates Lindsey Graham in Ukraine plot: ‘He was in the loop’

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An indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani says Sen. Lindsey Graham was “in the loop” in the scheme to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden.

Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born businessman charged with campaign finance violations, told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°” that Graham has a personal interest in keeping witness testimony out of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

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“Sen. Lindsey Graham I haven’t had any contact with, but because of my relationship with Rudy Giuliani, I have a lot of information about his dealings,” Parnas said. “It was, like, surreal to watch Lindsey Graham up there, sit there — he’s out there talking about all the stuff, that this is a sham, that this should go away.”

“At the end of the day,” Parnas added, “he was in the loop just like everybody else. He (had) a very good relationship with Rudy Giuliani, he was aware of what was going on going back to at least 2018, maybe even earlier. If you recall, he was the one Rudy Giuliani was supposed to bring Viktor Shokin to when the visa got denied, and I think he was even, if you check the records, involved in getting the request for the visa somehow.”

Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy released letters Wednesday signed by a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen Michael Guralnik to both Graham and Sigal Mandelker, then a top official at the U.S. Treasury Department pushing for sanctions against various Ukrainian political and business leaders.

A month or so later Giuliani tried to help Shokin, a former top prosecutor in Ukraine regarded as corrupt by the previous administration and U.S. allies, obtain a visa to meet with Graham in the U.S.

“Sen. Graham was involved even before I got involved with Mayor Giuliani, so he had to have been in the loop and had to have known what was going on,” Parnas said. “I was with Giuliani every day, that was what was happening.”

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Parnas told CNN he was “1 million percent” sure that Graham was aware of his and Giuliani’s efforts to press Ukraine to announce an investigation of Biden.

“Rudy told me not once but on several occasions that he spoke to Lindsey Graham about the situation, that Lindsey was always aware,” he said. “I don’t know how deeply aware, I didn’t speak to Lindsey Graham, I don’t have text messages with him, we didn’t interact, so I can only speak from what Rudy told me.”

Parnas claims he donated to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who recently cut an ad against Trump’s impeachment, and various super PACs associated with GOP senators, as well as campaigning with Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN).

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Justice Dept officials worry Bill Barr will fall quietly in line behind Trump after Stone interference: report

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According to a report from CNN, longtime Justice Department officials are concerned that Attorney General Bill Barr will do all he can to stay out of Donald Trump's sight and not interfere now that he was caught up in a squabble with the president over the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone.

CNN notes that Barr had previously watched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be swept up in the president's Ukraine scandal -- damaging the State Department official's reputation -- and hoped to keep a low profile in the president's public disputes.

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Internet heaps praise on CNN’s Anderson Cooper for his ‘must watch’ destruction of Rod Blagojevich

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CNN's Anderson Cooper received near-universal praise across the board for what one commenter called his "fiery rebuke" of recently paroled former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Friday night that culminated in the CNN host telling him excuses for why he should not have been in prison were "bullsh*t."

During the highly-contentious interview, Cooper came armed with facts and did not let Blagojevich get away with comparing himself to political prisoner Nelson Madel a which drew a smirk and rebuke from the CNN host.

Many on Twitter were quick to point to the interview as one all cable hosts should look at as a way to stop guests who go on shows to lie with no pushback.

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Bill Barr’s relationship with Trump ‘on the rocks’ as unleashed president ‘openly defies him’: ex-prosecutor

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In a CNN segment analyzing Donald Trump's insistent comments and tweets about Justice Department business, former federal prosecutor Eli Honig stated that the relationship between the president and Attorney General Bill Barr is now "on the rocks" and does not look promising for the future.

Speaking with "New Day" host Christi Paul, Honig explained that Barr has repeatedly cautioned the president about his comments but that Trump is flat out ignoring the Attorney general -- meaning that their relationship has taken a bad turn.

"It's interesting, Christi, the relationship between Trump and Barr seems to be on the rocks," Honig explained. "We saw Bill Barr step up and show some spine when he said to ABC News, the president is making my job impossible."

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