Giuliani associate: He told Ukraine aid depended on Biden probe

Lev Parnas, one of Rudy Giuliani’s two indicted business associates, reportedly said that he told incoming Ukrainian leadership earlier this year to announce an investigation into the Bidens in exchange for U.S. military aid.

Parnas allegedly traveled to Kyiv just before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was inaugurated in May and told the incoming government to announce an investigation into President Donald Trump’s political rival Joe Biden, otherwise the U.S. would freeze military aid to the country, the Ukrainian-American businessman’s attorney Joseph A. Bondy told The New York Times in a report published Sunday.

Also contingent on the investigation announcement reportedly was Vice President Mike Pence’s attendance at Zelensky’s inauguration ceremony, according to Bondy. Pence never ended up attending Zelensky’s inauguration, according to the Times.

The remarks to the newspaper are one of the first signs that Parnas has flipped on Trump and his personal attorney in the impeachment investigation surrounding the United States president’s attempted extortion of Ukraine. The warning to Ukrainian leadership was allegedly at the direction of Giuliani, whom Bondy said Parnas believed to be acting under Trump’s instruction.

The business associate said Nov. 4 that he would be willing to testify in the House impeachment probe, a change of heart after Parnas refused to comply with House committees’ requests in October. The reconsideration came after Trump denied to reporters that he knew Parnas.

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Rudy Giuliani through the years
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, smiles while arriving to participate in a discussion during the Values Voter Summit with Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Trump and his running mate said this week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a stronger leader than U.S. President Barack Obama, provoking Democratic condemnation and prompting some Republicans to distance themselves. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Rudolph Giuliani, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is photographed February 27, 1985 announcing the arrests in the 'Commission' case. A Federal racketeering indictment charged nine men with participating in a ''commission'' that governs the five organized-crime ''families'' in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
D.A. Rudolph Giuliani at Daily News Newsmakers Conference. (Photo By: Anthony Casale/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
Koch & Giuliani, join comm. of Doi Kevin Frawley, outline the guilty pleas of six arrested in bribes. 1. Giuliani and Koch await their turn in press con at D.O.I. 80 Maiden Lane. 2. Giuliani and Koch. 3. Head to Head after Giuliani gave Koch an Excellent to a reporter's questionKoch got up to shake his hand when he was through. January 17, 1989. (Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Giuliani holds press conference about the NYC homeless. August 01, 1989. (Photo by Dan Brinzac/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Guiliani at Inside Edition -- New TV personality at Inside Edition, Rudy Guiliani. Rudy Guiliani. Rudy honing up before taping of his part of the show. Rudy reviewing tapes in editing room. March 12, 1990. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Rudy Giuliani. November 05, 1993. (Photo by David Rentas/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 02: Andrew Giuliani yawns as his father Rudy speaks after he was sworn in as mayor of New York City. (Photo by Budd Williams/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Rudy Giuliani. January 12, 1994. (Photo by David Rentas/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Police, criminal justice unions endorse Cuomo for governor on steps of City Hall. Thomas Scotto, Pres. of N.Y.C.P. detectives, endorsement assoc. was between them. October 25, 1994. (Photo by Michael Norcia/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) California governor Pete Wilson meets with New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani at city hall. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 26: New York Knicks' President David Checketts (left) and NBA Commissioner David Stern present Mayor Rudy Giuliani with a Giuliani 98 jersey. The 1998 NBA All-Star game will be held in New York City. (Photo by Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 02: Shadow of Mayor Rudy Giuliani shows against background after he was endorsed by the hotel workers union at the Waldorf-Astoria., (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
26 Oct 1996: New York City mayor Rudy Guilliani, George Steinbrenner, and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre celebrate after Game Six of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves at Yankee Stadium in New York City, New York. The Yankees won the game, 3-
UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is flanked by CBS President Leslie Moonves (left) and Donald Trump at news conference at the GM Building, where CBS announced that Bryant Gumbel will be the host of its new morning news program, 'This Morning.' Show, to be launched Nov. 1, will broadcast from Trump's International Plaza Building., (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
399759 01: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani made his first appearance on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' January 16, 2002 in Burbank CA. Giulani talked about the events of September 11 and his recent selection as Time Magazine's 'Man of the Year.' (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 9 -- Air Date 12/15/2001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tina Fey, Rudy Giuliani, Jimmy Fallon during 'Weekend Update' on December 15, 2001 (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
400517 05: Former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, gives a thumbs up to football fans before Super Bowl XXXVI February 3, 2002 in New Orleans, LA. Super Bowl XXXVI will be played by the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 22: Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani smiles as he sits with copies of his book 'Leadership', published last October on January 22, 2003 in Waterstones bookshop, Deansgate, Manchester, England. The book outlines 'the principles Giuliani has worked through, and how he has adhered to them through his career, and how they came into play in the aftermath of the World Trade Centre'. (Photo by Gary M.Prior/Getty Images)
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - JANUARY 19: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani gestures as he takes questions from emergency personnel at a rally held to drum up support for the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential ticket January 19, 2004 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Iowa will be the first state in the nation to test the popularity of the Democratic presidential hopefuls when it holds the caucuses tonight. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 24: Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani kisses the hand of a little girl as he visits Hale House in Harlem on the day before Christmas to pass out gifts and read holiday stories to the children. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaks as he makes a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks of 2001 on September 11, 2005 in New York City. This is the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
WILKES-BARRE, PA - NOVEMBER 3: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) speaks as U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) (L) looks on at a campaign rally November 3, 2006 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Santorum faces Democratic challenger Bob Casey Jr. in the November election. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)
SPARTANBURG, SC - FEBRUARY 21: Republican presidential hopeful, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holds a campaign rally with first responders at the North Spartanburg Fire Department on February 21, 2007 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
HENDERSON, NV - NOVEMBER 01: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani reacts as he is greeted by supporters at a McCain-Palin regional headquarters office November 1, 2008 in Henderson, Nevada. As candidates continue to bring out the political heavy-hitters for their last pitches, Giuliani will be campaigning in several states for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) leading up to the election on November 4. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani celebrates during the New York Yankees World Series Victory Parade on November 6, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 487 -- Pictured: (l-r) Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during an interview with Jimmy Fallon on August 8, 2011 (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES â SEPTEMBER 6: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani waits to speak at the National Press Club luncheon in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
July 27, 2012 Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the Republican Team Meet & Greet to Support Romney in his Presidential Campaign. Mayor Giuliani looking for support as the guest speaker in the Cuban Community of Calle Ocho - Little Havana in South FloridaFlorida (Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images)
SCARBOROUGH, NY - JULY 17: Rudy Giuliani attends Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation 2013 Golf and Tennis Classic at Sleepy Hollow Country Club on July 17, 2013 in Scarborough, New York. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, arrive at a campaign stop in Miami, as Scott kicks off the Get Out the Early Vote bus tour (Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani attends the Opening Night premiere of 'Live From New York!' during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at the Beacon Theatre on April 15, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 31: Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, speaks in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a Trump campaign rally on August 31, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Parnas and fellow Soviet-born business associate Igor Fruman were arrested in October on charges of using a shell company to make straw donations to a pro-Trump election committee and other Republican candidates like former Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas). They pleaded not guilty, though the indictments did not mention any issues related to the impeachment investigation.

Giuliani has said that Parnas and Fruman assisted him in pursuing unsubstantiated allegations that Biden pushed for a Ukrainian prosecutor’s ouster to benefit his son Hunter, who used to serve on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma. But Giuliani has denied that Parnas delivered a warning to incoming Ukrainian leadership at his direction, according to the Times.

Giuliani himself is under investigation over allegations of illegally engaging in foreign lobbying in connection with the Ukraine scandal. That investigation stemmed from the probe into Parnas and Fruman, though Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing.

Fruman’s attorney John M. Dowd told the Times that the two were only seeking a meeting with Zelensky and that there was no discussion of withholding military aid or setting up terms.

Trump suspended nearly $400 million in congressionally approved U.S. military aid to Ukraine just before his July 25 call with Zelensky, in which he pressured him to investigate the Bidens as well as false claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election instead of Russia.

The House announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump in September after reviewing a whistleblower complaint about the Ukraine call. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing despite several instances revealing an attempted quid pro quo and witnesses corroborating such concerns in their testimony to lawmakers. Public impeachment hearings are expected to begin on Wednesday.

Read our list of who’s who in the Ukraine investigation.

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House Intelligence Committee Has Evidence Of Trump 'Extortion Scheme,' Democrat Says

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