The House Intelligence Committee on Friday released evidence showing one of Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) top aides had frequent communications with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about the Ukraine affair that triggered President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The communications indicate that Nunes was far more cognizant of efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden than previously known, a fact legal experts say warrants an investigation into the Republican ranking member on the House Intel Committee.
The documents show Derek Harvey, who served as an advisor to President Trump before joining Nunes’ staff, messaging Parnas about speaking to former Ukrainian government officials via Skype. Harvey provided Parnas, a Floridian-Ukrainian businessman, with Nunes’s contact information two days before records show the two spoke on the phone. For weeks, Nunes insisted that he “did not recall” ever speaking to Parnas, but said Monday that he did in fact remember the call, which he described as “very odd” and “random.”
As I said the other day, there’s a reason Nunes suddenly copped to knowing Parnas in that Fox interview. He knew these were all about to come out. https://t.co/M7T9DGJP8M
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 17, 2020
“We need to set a time for Skype w your four people,” Harvey wrote in an April message, referring to former Prosecutors General Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko.
“It looks like we can get all the interviews set up for Tuesday or Wednesday whatever works better for you,” Parnas responded.
“Wednesday would be best here,” Harvey wrote, adding, “It allows me to prep a staff lawyer to assist. Any suggested line of questions? Full names of who we will interview?”
Parnas confirmed, responding, “Sounds good will put together there (sic) names and questions that I recommend.”
According to the messages, Harvey and Parnas also met at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., where they were joined by Giuliani and John Solomon. The latter’s “investigate columns” with The Hill brought unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against the Bidens to the mainstream.
Parnas on Nunes: we met several times. relationship expanded when i was introduced to his aide derek harvey. nunes gave me derek harvey to deal with, because he was under ethics investigation.
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) January 16, 2020
“So now it seems that Nunes not only knew Parnas but was involved in the conspiracy while claiming to be investigating said conspiracy for House Intel (& denying it existed in hrgs),” former federal prosecutor and current CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers commented. “We need (1) House Ethics Committee [investigation]; (2) OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) invest; DOJ invest.”
So now it seems that Nunes not only knew Parnas but was involved in the conspiracy while claiming to be investigating said conspiracy for House Intel (& denying it existed in hrgs). We need (1) House Ethics Comm invest; (2) OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) invest; DOJ invest.
— Jennifer Rodgers (@JenGRodgers) January 18, 2020
Rodgers’ sentiment was echoed by University of Minnesota Law School Prof. Richard Painter, the former chief ethics lawyer in George W. Bush White House. He said that Nunes “should be investigated and if he committed a crime prosecuted.”
The Ukraine extortion plot apparently involved Members of Congress as well as the Trump Administration.
@DevinNunes should be investigated and if he committed a crime prosecuted.
New evidence shows Nunes aide communicated with Parnas on Ukraine https://t.co/oT9tVttzHt
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) January 18, 2020
George Little, the former director of public affairs for the CIA and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, joined the chorus of those saying an ethics investigation was necessary.
I would hope that the House opens an immediate ethics investigation into the office of Rep. @DevinNunes. This has gone too far. Period.
— George Little (@georgelittledc) January 18, 2020
Some Democratic lawmakers said as early as November 2019 that they anticipated that there would be an ethics investigation of Nunes. There have been other times over the past couple of years when ethics watchdogs called for such investigations.
Read the full Parnas document below:
[image via YouTube screengrab]