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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

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

35 mins ago - Technology

Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Domestic terrorism has proven to be more difficult for Big Tech companies to police online than foreign terrorism.

The big picture: That's largely because the politics are harder. There's more unity around the need to go after foreign extremists than domestic ones — and less danger of overreaching and provoking a backlash.

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