After an explosive week of impeachment testimony, we may be in store for more. According to an attorney for Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, Parnas is willing to testify to Congress that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, met with a former Ukraine prosecutor late last year in an attempt to secure dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Parnas’s attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, told CNN, “Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December.” Shokin was removed from office after pressure from the international community in 2016, including from then-vice president Biden, that he was not prosecuting corruption in Ukraine. Parnas was indicted on campaign finance charges in October. CNN’s reporting follows a Daily Beast report that Parnas helped Nunes arrange phone calls and meetings to investigate the origins of the Mueller probe.
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Bondy also tweeted Friday night, asking House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (R-Calif.) to “please arrange for [House Intelligence Committee] to “agree to hear Lev Parnas,” adding, “His information completes the narrative—it’s non-hearsay, not part of the #GOP ‘rope-a-dope,’ and in the greatest of our national interests.” He also told CNN Parnas is willing to comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents and testimony as long as he can also preserve his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.
@RepAdamSchiff, please arrange for #HIC to agree to hear Lev Parnas. His information completes the narrative—it’s non-hearsay, not part of the #GOP “rope-a-dope,” and in the greatest of our national interests. Thank you. #LetLevSpeak https://t.co/1iYujXYAxK
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) November 22, 2019
Nunes denied the allegations and told Breitbart News that he intends to sue CNN. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” Nunes said. “Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.”
But, Nunes did not refute specific allegations beyond calling them “fake.”
Nunes has unofficially appointed himself as Trump’s stooge, attempting to investigate the Obama administration and the origins of the Mueller probe, even making a late-night White House visit in 2016 and announcing he discovered wrongdoing by Intelligence Committee officials and furthering President Donald Trump’s baseless accusation that former president Obama had planted listening devices in Trump Tower. And during the impeachment hearings he has continuously pushed baseless conspiracy theories and attempted to out the whistleblower.
While Giuliani had already admitted to meeting with Shokin, the involvement of Nunes is new information. Both have been pushing the narrative that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. “Nunes had told Shokin of the urgent need to launch investigations into Burisma, Joe and Hunter Biden, and any purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election,” Bondy told CNN.
It’s important to note, however, that the narrative of Ukraine interference originated with Russian President Vladimir Putin to take the heat off Russia for its own interference, a talking point Republicans have pushed despite being briefed by intelligence officials about its specious origins. Furthermore, there is no evidence of corruption by Biden or his son.
When CNN asked Nunes for comment on these new allegations, Nunes refused to respond, telling the outlet, “I don’t talk to you in this lifetime or the next lifetime. At any time. On any question.”
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