Nunes: My Phone Calls With Lev Parnas Were ‘Just Normal Operating Procedure’
Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, could be more deeply involved in efforts by President Donald Trump and his allies to dig up dirt in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden after new documents were released by House Democrats, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats on the Intelligence Committee released materials, which included text messages, photos, and other documents, provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Parnas worked to try to persuade the Ukrainian government to launch an investigation into Biden.
Nunes initially denied knowing Parnas, but has been forced to admit the two had spoken.
About 100 text messages between Parnas and the California Republican’s staffer, Derek Harvey, a retired U.S. Army colonel, were among the messages released Friday.
The texts exchanged between Parnas and Harvey show Parnas providing documents and helping set up meetings for Harvey with Ukrainians who had made unsubstantiated claims that Biden orchestrated the ousting of a prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations involving Burisma Holdings, an energy company where Hunter Biden served as a board member from 2014 to 2019.
Phone records released by House Democrats show several calls between Parnas and Nunes, who helped lead the Republican’s defense of Trump during the House impeachment hearings.
Nunes denied ever speaking with Parnas, but after new documents were released, Nunes was forced to admit that he had.
“I checked it with my records and it was very clear -- I remember that call, which was very odd, random, talking about random things, and I said, ‘great,’ you know, ‘talk to my staff,’ and boom, boom, boom,” Nunes told Fox News on Wednesday. “That’s just normal operating procedure.”
Nunes threatened to sue Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) last month if he didn’t apologize for making statements accusing him of conspiring with Parnas.
After the document dump, Lieu responded on Twitter: “Devin, I’m adding to my statement: ‘Your pants are on fire.’”