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

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) attends the Open Hearings on the Impeachment of President Donald Trump of the House Intelligence Committee in Washington.
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.

The big picture: Nunes made the remarks while speaking with Hannity about his $435 million lawsuit against CNN for its reporting of comments by Parnas' lawyer alleging the Republican representative met with former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to discuss digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

  • Nunes strongly denies the claim, which he says is false.

What he's saying: Nunes told Hannity he'd have to go through his phone records to see if he'd spoken with Parnas, as the House Democrats' findings suggest. "I remember the name now because he has been indicted," Nunes said of Parnas. "Why would CNN rely on somebody like this?"

  • Nunes made clear that he had known Giuliani for a long time. He said he recalls "laughing" with the former New York City mayor in April about how former special counsel Robert Mueller had "bombed out" with the release of his Russia report that month.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details, context and the Fox News video.