Crucially, Parnas indicated that then-national security adviser John Bolton was well aware of what was going on. He said Bolton spoke with Zelensky and that he was a “key witness. ”
“One hundred percent, he knows what happened,” Parnas said.
That quote could loom as Democrats seek to persuade four Senate Republicans to join them and vote to allow Bolton to testify in the impeachment trial. Bolton has indicated he is willing, and his lawyers have said he knows about key events that other witnesses, at least as of early November, hadn’t testified about. Thus far only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has indicated he’d likely vote to allow Bolton to testify, while Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) appear willing to consider it.
Parnas also indicated that Vice President Pence, who was pulled out of a visit to Zelensky’s inauguration in a move that may have been used as leverage, was in-the-know.
“I’m going to use a famous quote by [U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland]: ‘Everybody was in the loop,'” Parnas said. Asked to state it more plainly, he paused and said of Pence: “He couldn’t have not known. ”