Parnas documents prove 'this was a shakedown by the president': Ex-prosecutor
John Flannery -- screenshot

On MSNBC Tuesday, former federal prosecutor John Flannery said that the new trove of documents released to the House Intelligence Committee by Rudy Giuliani business associate Lev Parnas remove any uncertainty that President Donald Trump was involved in the Ukraine extortion scheme.

"If there was any room for doubt that this was a shakedown by the president, and that he was involved and Rudy was involved, and Rudy's people were involved ... these additional documents put that all to rest," said Flannery, who once worked with Giuliani when he was at the Southern District of New York. "One of the most significant things about this letter that you were reading is that it starts with, I am private counsel to President Donald Trump. It even suggests that this is out of channels."

"If you take this date as real in May, it would suggest that the initial effort in this plot was not for Trump to necessarily have to ask the Ukrainian leader on record in front of government officials, but to get Giuliani to do it. And only when that faltered, didn't get results they wanted, did it then go to the July call," said anchor Ari Melber.

"Yes. And the context is interesting," said Flannery. "Before this letter in May, you have them getting rid of Yovanovitch in April so she's not in the way to obstruct this corrupt deal they're putting together. And I think you mentioned in the broadcast, that there was a text message or email from Giuliani. And he's talking about the anti-Trump people who are around, not Zelensky that he's concerned about. Then when the two subs who worked there, they found out and were indicted, there is interesting correspondence for the president, John Dowd to represent both of them in the criminal proceedings. That's changed. Lev Parnas is represented by different counsel. So the evidence that fills in whatever gaps people have."

"I relate to be one of those senators who think they have to lie for the president and vote for him at this upcoming trial with this kind of evidence," added Flannery.

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