Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president

Source: The Hill | January 16, 2020 | Brooke Seipel

Lev Parnas claimed in a new interview Thursday that he was visited in jail by a former attorney for President Trump who told him to cooperate and sacrifice himself for the president.

John Dowd, who once served as an attorney for Trump, briefly served as Parnas’s attorney after he was indicted in October of last year for campaign finance violations.

In part two of his interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Thusrday, Parnas recounted firing Dowd. He said during a meeting where he expected to discuss making bail, Dowd instead allegedly told him: “Be a good boy”, though Parnas admitted that he doesn’t remember what Dowd told him verbatim.

“I called Dowd to come there. And I started seeing in the process of the bail stuff, the way things were going on … I didn’t feel they were trying to get me out,” Parnas said. “John Dowd instead of comforting me and trying to calm me down and telling me I’m going to be OK, he started talking to me like a drill sergeant.”

After the interaction, Parnas said he fired Dowd and warned him to get out, or something “bad” would happen.

Pressed by Maddow if they were asking him “to sacrifice [himself] to protect Trump,” Parnas replied, “yes.”

He added: “They tried to keep me quiet.”

The new allegation comes after Parnas turned over a trove of documents, records and messages as evidence for House investigators, which have since been handed to the Senate as the impeachment trial begins. 

In those records, an email from Trump’s other lawyer, Jay Sekulow, reveals Trump and Sekulow spoke about Dowd representing Parnas and the other indicted associate Igor Fruman.

“The president consents to allowing your representation of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Furman [sic],” Sekulow wrote in the Oct. 2 email. 

The documents indicate Trump’s involvement, and the designation of Dowd as Parnas’s lawyer before Parnas fired him. 

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