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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.

  • Bondy alleged to CNN and the Washington Post that Parnas learned from Shokin that the former prosecutor met with Nunes in Vienna last December.
  • Schiff told CNN in a wide-ranging interview Sunday that the Intelligence Committee is seeking the records of and issued subpoenas for Parnas and Igor Fruman, who've both been indicted on campaign finance charges in a separate case.
"We have had discussions with the Southern District of New York in terms of Mr. Nunes' conduct. If he was on a taxpayer-funded CODEL — and I say if — seeking dirt on a potential Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, that will be an ethics matter. That's not before our committee."
— Adam Schiff's remarks on CNN

What they're saying: Per CNBC, Parnas would "tell Congress that the purpose" of Nunes' planned Ukraine visit "was to interview two Ukrainian prosecutors who claimed to have evidence that could help President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign."

  • Bondy told CNBC that Parnas wants to give House investigators "truthful and important information that is in furtherance of justice."
  • Nunes told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that Parnas is "a criminal" and that because the reports on him are "criminal in nature" and "so bad, so slanderous, we’ve got all the facts on our side and we are going to file in federal court."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.