WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have released a trove of documents they obtained from Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, including a handwritten note that mentions asking Ukraine's president to investigate “the Biden case.”
The documents made public Tuesday come as Democrats prepare to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for Trump's trial. They add new context to their charges that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats as he withheld military aid to the country.
The documents show that Parnas was in constant communication with Giuliani and in contact with Ukrainian officials as he worked as an intermediary.
Among the documents is a screenshot of a previously undisclosed letter from Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy dated May 10, 2019, which was before Zelenskiy took office. In the letter, Giuliani announces himself as Trump’s personal lawyer and requests a meeting with Zelenskiy “as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent.”
Also among the documents is a handwritten note on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that says “get Zalensky to Annonce that the Biden case will be Investigated." Trump asked Zelenskiy in a July call to investigate his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company based in Ukraine.
In a letter outlining the evidence, Democrats said that Parnas' attorney confirmed that Parnas wrote the notes.
The documents — including phone records, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas — were sent to the House Judiciary Committee by three other House committees “to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the Articles of Impeachment,” according to a statement. Some of the materials were made public while others were marked as sensitive.
Four Democratic House committee chairmen in the statement said that they have continued “to collect additional evidence” so that the House impeachment managers “can present to the Senate the most complete factual record possible" before the impeachment trial.
Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, both U.S. citizens who emigrated from the former Soviet bloc, were indicted last year on charges of conspiracy, making false statements and falsification of records. Prosecutors allege they made outsize campaign donations to Republican causes after receiving millions of dollars originating from Russia.
Several of the documents show Parnas communicating with Giuliani and another attorney, Victoria Toensing, about the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, who was at the time the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Her removal, pushed by Trump, was at the center of the Democrats’ inquiry. Yovanovitch testified in the House impeachment hearings that she was the victim of a “smear campaign.”
Trump on a July 25 call had promised Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.” Roughly two months earlier, she had been recalled from her diplomatic post.
On April 23, the day before Yovanovitch was directed to return to the United States, Giuliani texted Parnas, "He fired her again." Parnas texted back, "I pray it happens this time I'll call you tomorrow my brother."
Parnas also received messages from a man named Robert F. Hyde who appeared to be describing surveillance of Yovanovitch and referred to her as a "bitch.” Hyde is now running for a U.S. House seat in Connecticut.
After texting about the ambassador, Hyde gave Parnas location updates over the course of a week. In one text, Hyde wrote: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.” He said she was under heavy security and “we have a person inside.”
Hyde at one point texted Parnas that ''they are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” and “guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money ... is what I was told.”
Parnas texted back: “lol.”
Lawrence Robbins, an attorney for Yovanovitch, declined to comment on the text messages Tuesday evening.
The text messages also show that Parnas consulted Giuliani in Jan. 2019 after the U.S. denied issuing a visa for former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Giuliani replied: "I can revive it."
In a follow-up conversation the following day, Giuliani told Parnas: “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Giuliani then predicted "he will get one" before giving Parnas the phone number for Jay Sekulow, the leader of the president's personal legal team. Sekulow is expected to be part of Trump's legal team during the impeachment trial.
The release of documents comes after a federal judge earlier this month said that Parnas could provide materials to Congress as part of the impeachment proceedings.
Democrats voted in December to impeach Trump for abuse of power and for obstruction of Congress.
Rudy Giuliani through the years
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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Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo, Lisa Mascaro and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.