Nov 24, 2019

Top Dem: Ethics probe likely on claim Nunes met with Ukrainian official

Rep. Devin Nunes speaks during the impeachment inquiry hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a ranking Intelligence Committee member, is "likely" to face an ethics investigation over allegations he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden with an ex-Ukrainian official, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told MSNBC Saturday.

Why it matters: CNN alleged in a report late Friday that Nunes met with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, who's at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Nunes told Breitbart he plans to sue CNN for the "demonstrably false" report.

Driving the news: CNN reported that Nune met with Shokin to discuss Biden and his son Hunter, citing as its source Joseph Bondy, attorney for Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who's been indicted on campaign finance charges in a separate case.

  • Bondy alleged to CNN and the Washington Post that Parnas "learned from" Shokin that the former prosecutor met with Nunes in Vienna last December. The Daily Beast also claims that Parnas "helped Nunes" in his investigations. Nunes has threatened to sue the Daily Beast for its report.

What they're saying: Nunes told Breitbart late Friday the "scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth."

"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."
— Devin Nunes' remarks to Breitbart
  • MSNBC's Joy Reid asked Smith whether Nunes could be investigated, to which he replied: "Quite likely, without question."

The big picture: If the House Ethics Committee were to open an investigation into Nunes, it would be the second panel probe he's faced in two years.

  • In Dec. 2017, the committee cleared Nunes of allegations that he "may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Giuliani associate's lawyer levels fresh Ukraine allegation against Nunes

Photo: Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, is willing to testify that aides to Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) canceled a 2019 trip to Ukraine to avoid notifying committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), CNBC reported Sunday.

Driving the news: Nunes has threatened to sue CNN and The Daily Beast for reporting allegations that he met with former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to discuss investigating former Vice President Joe Biden. He called the reports "false" and suggested the outlets may have committed crimes in reporting the claims by Joseph Bondy, Parnas' attorney.

Go deeperArrowNov 25, 2019

Nunes suggests CNN, Daily Beast committed crimes with reporting on Ukraine prosecutor

Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Andrew Harrer/AFP via Getty Images

House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) claimed on Fox News‘ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he is taking CNN and the Daily Beast "likely into federal court" for their reporting on allegations that he met with former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

The backdrop: The Daily Beast and CNN reported last week that the attorneys for Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani's who was indicted last month, said their client is willing to tell Congress about phone calls and meetings in Vienna in 2018 between Nunes and Shokin. Nunes said on Fox that by working with someone under indictment, the two outlets were "likely conspiring to obstruct justice."

Go deeperArrowNov 24, 2019

Nunes says he doesn't recall calls with indicted Giuliani associate

Rep. Devin Nunes during the impeachment inquiry hearing in the Capitol, Nov. 21. Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wir/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told Fox News' "Hannity" Tuesday "it’s possible" he spoke with Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani who's since been indicted for campaign finance violations. But he told host Sean Hannity he doesn't "recall that name."

Why it matters: Call records included in an impeachment report released by House Democrats Tuesday show Nunes had a number of interactions in April with Giuliani and Parnas as a smear campaign was launched against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, led by Giuliani, Parnas and a Trump-friendly journalist who wrote for The Hill.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019