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Devin Nunes Trump Minion Page 1

Devin Nunes has and continues to violate his oath of office to protect Donald J. Trump.  

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) On the same day that President Donald Trump acknowledged that somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans were likely to die because of the coronavirus, California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes went on Fox News to offer a very, uh, different perspective. "Let's stop looking at the death counters and let's talk about how we can keep as many people employed as possible," Nunes told Fox anchor Laura Ingraham. "That's the key right now, Laura, because if you don't, what you said earlier is correct. When you have people staying at home, not taking care of themselves, you will end up with a hell of a lot more people dying by other causes than you will by the coronavirus." Which is bad enough! But Nunes wasn't done! Far from it! (Also, shout-out to my producer Alli Gordon for transcribing this whole interview!) "I mean, look, the schools were just canceled out here in California which is way overkill," he added. "It's possible kids could've went back to school in two weeks to four weeks but they just canceled the rest of the schools." And then there was this: "If we don't start to get people back to work in this country over the next week to two weeks, I don't believe we can wait until the end of April. I just don't know of any economy that's ever survived where you unplug the entire economy and expect things to go back and be normal." It's as though Nunes is living in some alternate universe here. In Nunes' world, kids need to be going back to school. More people will die from staying home than returning to normal and spreading (or catching) the coronavirus! The economy will fail unless we start sending people back to work in two weeks! Nunes is not -- and this fact may surprise you -- a doctor. Or an infectious disease expert. All of whom have pushed Trump to extend the social distancing guidelines in place for another month. And who have forced Trump to publicly admit that, even if we follow those guidelines to a T, we could well lose hundreds of thousands of Americans to the virus. Of course, this isn't the first time Nunes has pushed information publicly that goes directly against the advice from the medical community about how best to deal with the spread of coronavirus. In mid-March, Nunes told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo this: "There's a lot of concerns with the economy here, because people are scared to go out. But I will just say, one of the things you can do, if you're healthy, you and your family, it's a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in, get in easily." Even at that time what Nunes was suggesting -- go out to eat because it will be easy to get a table since so many people are staying in -- was directly opposed to the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Trump administration, which was encouraging staying at home and certainly not gathering in a restaurant (or anywhere else) with crowds.

By Savannah Behrmann - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., appeared on Fox News on Monday night and walked back previous comments where he had contradicted public health experts and encouraged Americans to “go to a local restaurant” during the coronavirus crisis. Sunday, Nunes said, “There’s a lot of concerns with the economy here because people are scared to go out. But I will just say, one of the things you can do if you’re healthy – you and your family – it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant. Likely you can get in easily.” "Go to your local pub," he continued. Nunes' comments came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, saying people "should prepare to hunker down significantly." However, on Monday, Nunes, who is one of President Donald Trump’s top allies in Congress, said that "media freaks don't have a clue what's going on out in the real world" regarding the outbreak, and claimed that during his Sunday Fox News appearance, he was encouraging people to do drive-thru or takeout.

Rep. Devin Nunes denies involvement in the Ukrainian scandal. New texts between his top aide and Lev Parnas say otherwise.
By Catherine Kim

The House Intelligence Committee released a new trove of evidence on Friday that appears to show extensive contact between the top aide for House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Lev Parnas, a former Rudy Giuliani ally and a key figure in the Ukraine scandal.

Following his arrest on campaign finance violation charges, Parnas began providing the committee with a body of notes, photographs, and cellphone data as part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings. These documents have been made public in tranches; earlier releases further defined Giuliani’s role in the push for a Ukrainian investigation into Joe Biden, and included messages that seemed to suggest a Republican congressional candidate had former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance.

In recent days, Parnas has mounted a concerted push to shed light on outstanding questions related to the president’s pressure campaign — which sought to trade first a White House meeting, and later critical military aid for an investigation into Biden, his son Hunter, and the Democratic Party. Wednesday, he appeared on MSNBC to claim Trump knew “exactly what was going on” with respect to Giuliani’s efforts to advance a Biden investigation, and claiming that Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr were involved as well.

Parnas claimed last November that Nunes was also party to the pressure campaign, and that he’d worked with one of the lawmaker’s top aides, former White House official Derek Harvey, to keep the congressman in the loop about the progress of the quid pro quo scheme.

By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) New documents released Friday evening by House Democrats show communications between indicted Rudy Guiliani associate Lev Parnas and an aide to the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee in which they arrange interviews with Ukrainian officials and apparent meetings at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, including with Giuliani. The materials draw California Rep. Devin Nunes even further into the efforts undertaken by Giuliani and his associates to dig up dirt on the President's political rivals.

The WhatsApp exchanges show that Nunes aide Derek Harvey raised questions about foreign assistance to Ukraine in late March 2019. On March 29, 2019, Harvey asked Parnas, "Can we get materials?" Parnas told Harvey in an April text message that he would be interviewing "the general prosecutor that got fired by Biden," who is Viktor Shokin. Parnas also referenced Ukraine's then-prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko. Both prosecutors also spoke to Giuliani in his effort to dig up dirt on the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. "Let's do our call at 12 and we can do the first prosecutor at 1 your time?" Parnas texted Harvey on April 17, 2019.

"Okay," Harvey responded. Two days later, Harvey texted Parnas: "Lev. I think we are best served by sending the official letter and receiving documentation before any more interviews." The text exchanges between Harvey and Parnas included multiple references to John Solomon, the former conservative columnist for The Hill who published columns attacking former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. In one text, Harvey told Parnas in April 2019 that "Solomon needs to get me the material."

Devin Nunes isn’t doing a very plausible job answering questions about his involvement in the Ukraine caper.
By Aaron Rupar

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) is going to increasingly desperate lengths to spin phone records indicating he played a more central role than previously understood in the Trump administration’s shadowy Ukraine policy — one geared toward leveraging official White House acts into political favors benefitting the president.

Those records, which were included in Intelligence Committee Democrats’ impeachment report, indicate that Nunes communicated on the phone with Rudy Giuliani’s indicted Ukraine fixer, Lev Parnas, including an eight-and-a-half minute call on April 12.

Parnas’s lawyers have said their client is prepared to testify that Nunes worked to advance the Ukrainian investigations into the Biden family that are at the center of an impeachment inquiry. But Nunes didn’t disclose those contacts when he served as the top Republican overseeing the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings last month.

Speaking to Maria Bartiromo for her Fox Business show on Sunday morning, Nunes advanced a type of alternative explanation that has gotten some play on Fox News, suggesting the aforementioned call he received from Parnas on April 12 may have been placed by Parnas’s wife, not Parnas himself.

“I got a call from a number that was Parnas’s wife,” Nunes said. “I remember talking to someone, and I did what I always do which is that if you don’t know who they are, you put them to staff, and you let staff work with that person.”

"Lev remembers what you spoke about,” attorney Joseph Bondy wrote as he urged Congress to interview Parnas
By Igor Derysh

An attorney for indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas warned Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that “Lev remembers” their phone calls — even if the Intelligence Committee’s top Republican does not.

Phone records obtained from AT&T and released in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report revealed four phone calls between Nunes and Parnas on April 12, amid the smear campaign that ousted then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, including one which lasted longer than eight minutes. Parnas, who played a key role in Giuliani’s hunt for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, was later indicted on campaign finance charges. Prosecutors have said he is still under investigation for more crimes.

However, Nunes now claims that he cannot not recall speaking with Parnas. "You know, it's possible, but I haven't gone through all my phone records,” Nunes told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday. “I don't really recall that name, but it seems very unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people." Nunes was pressed about those comments by Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Thursday. “Just to clear the air, because I want to hear, what did you discuss with Lev Parnas?” MacCallum asked the congressman.

“I don’t even know, because I’ve never met Parnas. And like I filed in federal court — so it’s a great question because many people want to know, including myself,” Nunes said, referring to a $435 million lawsuit he filed against CNN for reporting Parnas’ claim that Nunes met with disgraced former top Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who is at the heart of Giuliani’s and President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations against Biden. “You never had any phone conversation with him?” MacCallum pressed. “We have not been able to confirm that yet,” Nunes responded.

By William Cummings - USA TODAY

Rep. Devin Nunes filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN in federal court on Tuesday in which he is seeking $435,350,000 in damages. The California Republican alleges that CNN – which the lawsuit describes as "the mother of fake news" – published a "demonstrably false hit piece" on him when it reported on Nov. 22 that a lawyer for Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, said his client was willing to testify that Nunes met with last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor in Vienna in an effort to get dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the 47-page filing, Nunes says he never traveled to Austria in 2018 and that he never met with or spoke to Viktor Shokin, the former prosecutor. The lawsuit says that during the time Parnas claimed Nunes was in Vienna, the congressman was actually in Libya and Malta. Pictures from those trips are included in the filing. Shokin also denied meeting with Nunes after the CNN report.  CNN tried several times to contact Nunes about the report prior to publication but the congressman has refused to speak with the network or any of its reporters since 2017. In his filing, Nunes claims CNN ran the story as an "unmitigated act of retaliation against" him because he refuses to talk to the network "and this angers CNN."

“So, I remember talking to Rudy Giuliani. And we were actually laughing about how Mueller bombed out,” Nunes insisted.
By Justin Baragona

Hours after the House Intelligence Committee released call logs on Tuesday that revealed ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) had multiple phone calls with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s indicted Ukrainian associate Lev Parnas this past spring, Nunes appeared on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show.

According to the pro-Trump Republican lawmaker, the calls with individuals at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against the president were joking in nature—or maybe didn’t even happen at all (despite records saying they did).

After talking about Nunes’ lawsuit against CNN over the network’s report that the congressman met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor in Vienna (Nunes has also threatened The Daily Beast with a suit), Hannity brought up the phone calls while offering Nunes a helping hand.

“My sources are telling me that three of the four so-called calls were apparently just to Giuliani and maybe on Parnas’ phone under a minute,” the Trump-boosting Fox host wondered. “Is that true?”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) discusses call records between Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. A Nunes spokesman did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

(CNN) Armed with never-before-seen phone records, Democrats on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump's allies of coordinating with a conservative journalist to peddle "false narratives" about Trump's opponents as part of his multi-pronged pressure campaign on Ukraine. The House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report -- which was made public Tuesday -- says the committee's top Repubican, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, was linked to that effort. The records, according to Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell, were subpoenaed from third-parties.

"Mr. Solomon was not working alone," the report said of conservative journalist John Solomon's articles throughout 2019 that spread Trump-backed conspiracies about Ukraine. "As further described below, there was a coordinated effort by associates of President Trump to push these false narratives publicly, as evidenced by public statements, phone records, and contractual agreements." The phone records, which are labeled in the report's endnotes as coming from AT&T, show a web of communications between Solomon, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas, Nunes and the White House's budget office. CNN is owned by AT&T.

By Scott Berry | The Public Forum

Probably some of you remember “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,”a legendary British TV comedy from back in the 1970s. My favorite bit was the “Dead Parrot” sketch. A customer walks into a pet shop holding up a birdcage containing a “stiff as a board” dead parrot, saying that he wants to make a complaint, that the “Norwegian blue” parrot he purchased half an hour earlier was dead. The shopkeeper insists that the bird is just “resting,” or “stunned,” or “pining” and nailed to the perch only to prevent it from bolting back to Norway. The customer, more and more aggravated, continues to point out that the bird is “deceased, expired, no more, gone to meet its maker,” “pushing up the daisies.” In short, an “ex-parrot.”

It’s impossible to watch the “Dead Parrot” sketch without thinking of the performance of Rep. Devin Nunes and his fellow the Republican representatives during the recent impeachment hearings. Like the shopkeeper, they find themselves in a position where despite massive and unchallenged evidence, presented in a form that would be easily understood by any third grader, they have to continue to pretend that their patron is beyond reproach, that the lies he lives on are really the truth, and that the people of America are not smart enough to see through the skit.

Not content with rhetorical support for Trump, Nunes may have met with a former (and highly corrupt) Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss the effort to vilify Joe Biden.

By Charlie Sykes, editor-at-large of the Bulwark and an MSNBC contributor

At last Thursday’s impeachment hearing, Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, had a very direct message for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” Hill said. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

Her comments came the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin had boasted at an event in Moscow: “Thank God no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore. Now they’re accusing Ukraine.”

In effect that was also a shoutout to Nunes. As Trump’s loyal attack ferret on the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has continually pushed the same debunked conspiracy theories about Ukraine, the Democratic National Committee and CrowdStrike that the Russians have apparently worked so diligently to spread. Indeed, Nunes has become the de facto face of the GOP defense of Trump, in all of its bizarre contempt for facts, its willingness to ignore and defame witnesses and its zeal to defend the president at all costs — including actively colluding with efforts to dig up dirt on his political opponents.

As Hill sat in front of Nunes, the former national security aide made it clear she would not be playing his game. “I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016.”

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