Nov 24, 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."

It's unclear what Nunes would sue the publications for. If he sues for defamation, he would have to prove as a public official that the outlets acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth.

  • However, both publications reported on statements that Parnas’ attorneys released and neither issued any claims regarding the truth of the statements.

What he's saying: Nunes said the reports are false but would not answer a direct question from Fox's Maria Bartiromo about whether he met with Shokin in 2018.

  • "I really want to answer all of these questions, and I promise you I absolutely will come back on the show and answer these questions. But because there is criminal activity here, we're working with the appropriate law enforcement agencies, we are going to file all this," Nunes said.
  • "Everyone’s going to know the truth, everybody is going to know all the facts, but I think you can understand that I can’t compete by trying to debate this out with the public media when 90% of the media are totally corrupt," he continued.
  • "And because this is criminal in nature and because it is so bad, so slanderous, we’ve got all the facts on our side and we are going to file in federal court because I'm not going to sit here and try to compete against the media that I have no chance of winning this."

Nunes also told Breitbart last week that the "scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth."

Go deeper: Devin Nunes suing Twitter over anti-conservative "shadow bans"

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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.

Go deeperArrowNov 24, 2019

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 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