"Every president in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his administration", Grisham said in a statement.
A recording said to be Donald Trump telling Giuliani henchmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to "get rid" of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in 2018 has been furnished to the House Intelligence Committee, according to Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy, telling the media, "We do believe that contents of the conversation as portrayed by ABC News are of critical importance in the impeachment trial of the President". The president demurs, but says the North Korean leader is a "great golfer". Prosecutors are also investigating Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, with whom the two Soviet-born businessmen worked to oust Yovanovitch.
Parnas said Trump reacted immediately.
On Wednesday, Graham said that Nadler, lead impeachment manager and Califiornia Democrats Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were "on a crusade to destroy this president".
House investigators have been working to document an nearly year-long effort on the part of Parnas and Giuliani to have Yovanovitch removed from her post. Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the golf icon, and NY real estate developer Stanley Gale also attended the event for a pro-Trump group.
In a column Friday, the Washington Post's Greg Sargent wrote that "it's worth noting here how bat-bleep insane it is that Trump, who has the power to recall ambassadors, is talking with his goons about this". Parnas has released multiple photographs showing him with not just Trump but his children and grandchildren.
About 42 minutes into the video, Parnas appears to say, "The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start, is we gotta get rid of the ambassador".
The recording provides further evidence of the long-running effort to push out Yovanovitch, whose ouster was sought by Yuri Lutsenko, formerly Ukraine's top prosecutor.
"First, the Vice President said he knew nothing about it, but the State Department knew about it because they were concerned when people were being put up for confirmation that that issue might arise".
"I'm anxious to hear any kind of evidentiary facts, other than simply innuendo", Warner said Friday of the Trump's defense team.
The audiotape lines up with what Parnastold MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about the Trump dinner in an interview last week. So, they tell us in the impeachment trial that this whole thing about the Bidens has been looked at, has been debunked, that it's phony, there's not a scintilla of evidence. The second article of impeachment accuses Trump of obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe.
During her congressional testimony, Yovanovitch said she received a call from the State Department that "there were concerns about my security". Both men are facing federal charges for campaign finance violations. They pleaded not guilty.