Why Is Devin Nunes Named in the House Impeachment Inquiry? - 2019-12-04
Nunes — who serves a conservative district in California's Central Valley — is one of President Trump's most ardent defenders in Congress, and he used his position during the committee's open hearings to deride the impeachment inquiry as a "drug deal" and a "sham." Nunes told witnesses before the committee that they were participants in the Democrats' "theatrical" television drama. "The main performance — the Russia hoax — has ended," Nunes said, referring to the Mueller investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to the Kremlin, "and you've been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel."
Yet the release of the committee's report on Tuesday casts Nunes himself as a player in this drama. The report, authored by the Democratic majority, cites phone records that connect Nunes to Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney who ran point on the administration's off-the-books Ukraine policy, and to Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who allegedly sought riches from energy deals in the eastern European nation. Parnas has since been indicted in the U.S. for conspiracy and campaign-finance crimes.
The report cites call records from mid-April of this year showing contacts between Nunes and Giuliani and separately between Nunes and Parnas. It reads in part: "Phone records… show contacts on April 10 between Mr. Giuliani and Rep. Nunes, consisting of three short calls in rapid succession, followed by a text message, and ending with a nearly three minute call." Call records reproduced in the report also show a series of phone calls between Nunes and Parnas on April 12th, with the longest stretching more than 8 minutes.