Dershowitz claims a president who manipulates foreign policy to aid his reelection can’t be impeached. Democrats slam the theory as a path to abuse.

Lev Parnas sits in Sen. Chuck Schumer's office on January 29.
Lev Parnas sits in Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office on January 29. Patrick Semansky/AP

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz got more than 14,000 retweets for a claim that Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had just been kicked out of the Senate gallery during the impeachment proceedings.

“Scenes from the impeachment trial: Schumer invited Lev Parnas to be his personal guest today at the trial. Minutes ago, Parnas was ejected from the gallery…because he’s wearing an ankle bracelet mandated bc he’s a criminal defendant accused of serious felonies! #CantMakeItUp,” Cruz wrote.

Facts FirstParnas’ lawyer, Joseph Bondy, says this didn’t happen: Parnas, who is wearing a court-mandated GPS-monitoring ankle braceletnever tried to enter the Senate gallery, which prohibits electronics. People in the gallery also said they did not witness Parnas being ejected.

Bondy said in his own tweet: “Fake news Ted Cruz, makes up something that can’t be made up. Lev Parnas’ attorneys attended the trial, while Lev joined us for a unity walk & press conference. Lev wasn’t ‘ejected.’” 

A Trump campaign account was among those to retweet Cruz’s claim. Bondy had said in advance of his visit to the Capitol that Parnas would be in Washington but would not try to enter into the Senate. Bondy and Parnas confirmed those plans Wednesday morning, when the two walked from Union Station to Capitol Hill. 

Bondy did get trial tickets from the office of Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. A Schumer spokesperson told the Washington Post that Bondy is a New York constituent who had made a request. 

Parnas has been indicted on campaign finance charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. After his indictment, he began providing information to House Democrats leading the impeachment push. 

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