, 25 tweets, 8 min read
1. Fruman/Parnas want to export US LNG to Ukraine. They bought WH access via Trump PAC donations & Giuliani.

They're betting Russia-to-Germany natgas pipeline bypassing Ukraine will be operational soon; curtailing Ukraine's importance to EU, & opening Ukraine market for US LNG.
2. Trump Admin/Senate oppose pipeline (Nord Stream 2)–it's a huge wedge for Putin against NATO.

Trump/Senate threatened sanctions on mostly Russian companies over it, but construction continues because benefits outweigh costs; empty threats won't sever Trump-Putin ties.
3. An isolated market for US LNG in Ukraine explains the opportunism of today's Rick Perry story, & pretty much anyone in a position to trade on insider access to the White House: Giuliani gets a paycheck from Furman/Parnas, & Trump gets his favors.
4. But Nord Stream 2 & Giuliani's middleman status in this Ukrainian ménage à trois reveals uniquely perverse incentives at play in an otherwise standard game of petro-politics in the DC swamp.

Furman/Parnas donated $100s of millions to Trump. What wouldn't they give to collect?
5. Ukraine's vulnerability makes it hard to see Trump's ask as anything but a demand for Ukraine to knowingly take the rap for Russia's attack on US elections & invent a suitable smear against Biden.

Trump's motives are another thread but it's more than saving Putin/Re-election.
6. The last time I beat AP to a topic is [checks notes]... Never.

*Corrections to above.
—Lev Parnas/Igor Fruman donated 100s of thousands not millions to Trump PAC ($325,000, American First Action).
—Parnas/Fruman worked w/ 3rd man: Harry Sargeant III.
7. [Incorporating AP story]. Big detail. We knew Trump wanted Masha Yovanovitch out as US Ambassador to Ukraine (Pompeo didn't).

Now revealed Parnas knew Yovanovitch would be replaced two weeks before she, or Pompeo (her boss), knew.

It gets worse.
8. Only source for Parnas to know Yovanovitch would go is Giuliani; only source for Giuliani? Trump.

But that's still not the extent of it. Putting 2-&-2 together, there's actually a conspiracy here to manufacture a reason for sacking a Senate confirmed Amb.
9. Correction to Tweet 7. Parnas/Giuliani knew Yovanovitch would be replaced as early as *two months* before she was recalled, not two weeks (I'm getting rusty).
10. Note: not all persons involved in removing Yovanovitch are known.

20Mar2019: In an interview w/ Trump ally John Solomon,
fmr Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko (playing ball) alleged US Amb Yovanovitch handed him a do-not-prosecute list.
11. Lutsenko was effectively charging the US Amb w/ corruption. State Dept called it a lie & pulled US anti-corruption funding.

Lutsenko—prompted by unknown persons (although Giuliani/Trump/TX Rep Pete Sessions loudly wanted her out)—lobbed a smear grenade to force her ouster.
12. Lutsenko's motivations are unclear; on US side, Pompeo privately refused to fire her & didn't recall her until she was publicly tarnished.

24Mar2019: Trump Jr tweeted for her removal... Jr knew Parnas/Fruman/Sargeant BTW.

17Apr2019: Lutsenko recanted. No reason given.
13. 7May2019: Amb Yovanovitch was recalled 3 wks after Lutsenko retracted his charge against her (allegations only TrumpWorld believed). Pompeo claimed she was scheduled to depart.

Latest reporting says she blocked Giuliani mission to convince Kiev to investigate Biden.
14. Early March. Fruman/Parnas/Sargeant actively worked to replace Naftogas CEO Kobolyev w/ Favorov.

Favorov called it a "shakedown." Why? What was his exposure that Giuliani allies could leverage?
15. Unmentioned in AP story: Favorov was flagged for self-dealing in late 2018. He was at risk for investigation.

The Fruman/Parnas/Sargeant scheme was to have Favorov direct LNG contracts their way in exchange for (I imagine) keeping authorities off him.
16. That's why Giuliani wanted Amb Yovanovitch out of the way. She wouldn't "play ball" and pressure Ukraine's gov to steer clear of Favorov.

That makes more sense than pushing her out for blocking Ukrainian investigation into Hunter Biden (even she wasn't helpful there either).
17. Two details leap out of AP story as highly incriminating, one of which implies White House involvement & has source corroboration.

First is aforementioned fact of insider knowledge of Yovanovitch removal. Pompeo had asked her to stay on beyond her three-year tour of duty.
18. It's simple algebra: only Pompeo or Trump could recall Yovanovitch, & it wasn't Pompeo.

I know this from Capital Hill sources who shared this at the time.
19. The second is the timeline. "In early March, Fruman, Parnas & Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO" w/ someone they could manage (Favorov).
20. March 24, 2019. 2 wks after recruiting Favorov, fmr Ukrainian Prosecutor Gen Lutsenko charged Amb Yovanovitch w/ political corruption.

That same day, Giuliani/Parnas & Baumgardner (Trump campaign advisor) were pitching gas deals to unconfirmed fmr Soviet bloc countries.
21. The picture coming into focus is that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman simply conned two not-very-discerning old men.

They're two well-known grifters who trade on influence via Instagram pics with celebrities & politicians.

They see Trump as Putin does: an easy mark.
22. It isn't satisfying, but their criminal profile leaves little doubt. They sold Giuliani fake news that Trump wanted to hear.

Parnas has a trail of unpaid debts and a history of conning people out of their life-savings.
23. Fruman's social circle extends from Rudy to an Odesa Kingpin (Volodymyr “The Lightbulb” Galanternik).

Their Florida attorney, Russell Jacob, literally gave a seminar on how to evade FinCEN when laundering money through real-estate.
24. Giuliani said in May 2019 they're his "clients," but refuses to answer if/how he's paid by Fruman/Parnas.

That the two now share one lawyer as they ignore House subpoenas, and that this lawyer is Trump/Giuliani confidante John Dowd, shows all parties have trust problems.
25. Name the last thing Trump said/did that's arguably "smart." Exactly. Name the last time Giuliani didn't deny something in the most suspicious way possible.

On the flip side, Parnas/Fruman were strangers to Trump in 2017. Now they're confidantes. They have the upper the hand.
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