Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Chairman, is currently serving as an Impeachment Manager in the Senate.
Schiff is making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
It seems that Schiff mischaracterized evidence in a document that was gathered by the House.
Two people from Ukraine, both with their last name beginning with the letter “Z” are at the heart of the issue.
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.”
The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.
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But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.”
That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.
The word document contains a series of questions and answers, but doesn’t identify who is doing the asking or answering.
Yet the questions center on the hiring practices at Burisma, while the responses include statements such as “we wanted to build Burisma as [an] international company” and “we also thought it would help in Ukraine to have strong international board figures,” which seems to point to Zlochevsky — not the Ukrainian president — as the respondent.
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The apparent mischaracterization, however, does not undercut Democrats’ argument that Trump withheld critical military aid to Ukraine as a way to pressure Zelenksy into opening up investigations into the Bidens, including Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who was once a board member on Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company.
A Democratic official working on the impeachment trial didn’t dispute the suggestion that the initial interpretation was incorrect.
But the official maintains that “z” was commonly used as short-hand for “Zelensky” by those involved in the Ukraine pressure campaign, and noted that the word document does not reveal its author or source.