Washington :

The historic impeachment trial of President Donald Trump got underway Thursday with the swearing in of senators and the presentation of the two charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States, was sworn in to preside over the trial, which is focused on Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine. In the meanwhile Trump ordered the brutal assassination of an top Iranian general, but that seems okay for now.

The impeachment charges center on the allegation that Trump withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former vice president Joe Biden.

The man who worked to pressure Ukrainians to open an investigation into Biden, said Thursday he doesn’t believe Biden did anything wrong.

Parnas claims he worked as an intermediary between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials trying to get the Biden investigation going by offering several quid pro quos at the direction of Giuliani.

Parnas served as the main emissary in Ukraine for Giuliani as the former New York mayor conducted a shadow foreign policy toward Kyiv last year, pressuring Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would be damaging to former vice president Joe Biden and the Democrats.

In a video clip, Parnas is seen introducing Roman Nasirov, the head of Ukraine’s fiscal service at the time, to Trump in a gilded room at Trump’s Palm Beach resort.

Nasirov was head of Ukraine’s fiscal service under former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Parnas met him through his associate Igor Fruman.

Parnas alleges that many people in Trump’s inner circle were aware of the plan to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden, including former national security adviser John Bolton.

Parnas was back on television Thursday night, this time with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, discussing his alleged work with Giuliani that he says was on behalf of Trump.

He reiterated much of what he’d revealed the night before with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, including his eagerness to testify in the impeachment probe.

Washington Post / ABC Flash Point Political News 2020.

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