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New documents from Giuliani’s associate released

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WASHINGTON : House Democrats have released the documents they obtained from Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as they prepare to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for Mr Trump's trial.

The documents made public on Tuesday add new context to the Democrats' charges that Mr Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats as he withheld military aid to the country. The materials show that Parnas was in constant communication with Mr Giuliani and also Ukrainian officials, as he worked as an intermediary.

Among the documents is a screenshot of a letter from Mr Giuliani to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before he took office.

In the letter, Mr Giuliani announces himself as Mr Trump's personal lawyer and requests a meeting with Mr Zelensky "as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent".

The documents - including phone records, texts and flash drives turned over by Parnas - were sent to the House Judiciary Committee by three other House committees "to be included as part of the official record that will be transmitted to the Senate along with the Articles of Impeachment", according to a statement.

Some of the materials were made public while others were marked as sensitive.

Among the documents is a handwritten note on stationery from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that says "get Zalensky to annonce that the Biden case will be investigated".

Mr Trump had asked Mr Zelensky to investigate his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Mr Hunter Biden served on the board of a gas company based in Ukraine.

Parnas' attorney confirmed that Parnas, indicted on campaign finance charges, had written the notes.- AP