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Vice Pres Mike Pence ‘had to know’ about demands for Biden investigation from White House that sparked Trump impeachment

A SOVIET-born associate of Rudy Giuliani has directly implicated Mike Pence over the high-profile Ukraine scandal which sparked the presidential impeachment.

Lev Parnas claims Donald Trump's right hand man was aware of demands for a secret probe into Joe Biden which put the president's job on the line.

 Lev Parnas says Donald Trump's right hand man knew about his boss's demands
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Lev Parnas says Donald Trump's right hand man knew about his boss's demands
 Parnas was an associate of Trump's laywer, Rudy Giuliani
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Parnas was an associate of Trump's laywer, Rudy GiulianiCredit: Reuters

Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow he said vice president Pence “couldn’t have not known” about the unusual request.

Referencing US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland’s testimony to the impeachment inquiry, he claimed “Everybody was in the loop.”

“I know (the vice president) went to Poland also to discuss this on Trump’s behalf, so he couldn’t have not known,” he said.

“He was supposed to go there and get it straightened out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was supposed to make another announcement, and that didn’t happen.”

Parnas went on to claim Pence then scrapped his scheduled trip to Ukraine as Zelensky had not announced a probe into Trump rival Joe Biden.

Trump is accused of trying to pressure the Ukrainian leader to dig up damaging information on his Democrat rival, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.

 Mike Pence's aides have called into question the credibility of Parnas
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Mike Pence's aides have called into question the credibility of ParnasCredit: Reuters
 Trump is accused of piling pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
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Trump is accused of piling pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyCredit: AFP or licensors

It's claimed he even threatened to hold back US military aid designed to avoid any future Russian takeover.

A partial transcript of the president’s 25 July phone call with Zelensky showed him asking his Ukrainian counterpart for a “favor” shortly before encouraging he launch the probes.

"The aid itself was something that I think the president decided to do”, Mr Parnas added.

“It was, I think, a reaction to that there was no announcement being made after so many attempts and so many promises.”

The claims from Parnas spark speculation as to whether Pence was involved in the president's demands.

However Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, denied the allegations in a statement casting shade on Parnas’s credibility.

 Donald Trump - seen here with Pence - has called the probe fake news
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Donald Trump - seen here with Pence - has called the probe fake newsCredit: The Mega Agency

“Democrat witnesses have testified under oath in direct contradiction to Lev Parnas statements last night”, Mr Short reportedly said.

“This is very simple: Lev Parnas is under a multi-count indictment and will say anything to anybody who will listen in hopes of staying out of prison. It’s no surprise that only the liberal media is listening to him.”

Trump has denied knowing Parnas, despite the businessman being seen in numerous photographs with the president and key Trump officials, including his son, Don Jr.

Parnas – who along with another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, has been charged with making $325,000 in illegal straw donations to a Trump super PAC – explained to Maddow that the US President knew exactly what he was doing during his time in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially signed off on articles of impeachment against president Trump.

Trump’s impeachment – the third in US history – will now move from Pelosi’s Democratic-run House of Representatives to the Republican-majority Senate, where Trump expects acquittal, even as new evidence is raising fresh questions about his dealings.

The vote comes at the start of a presidential election year and one month after the House impeached Trump.

Trump was also charged with obstructing Congress’ ensuing probe.

Trump impeachment signed off by Nancy Pelosi and delivered to Senate for historic trial after House vote
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