California Rep. Devin Nunes has spent two weeks of public impeachment hearings demonstrating that he doesn’t care about Donald Trump’s criminal shakedown scheme with Ukraine, and a new report may explain why: He was in on it.
According to CNN, “A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani tells CNN that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.”
That indicted Guiliani associate is Lev Parnas, who was arrested last month with Igor Fruman in connection to their “complex scheme” to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Trump’s political opponent, former vice president Joe Biden.
Trump, of course, immediately claimed he didn’t know the two criminals, but pictures quickly surfaced showing that he has met with them multiple times. As I wrote earlier this month, Trump even discussed the “secret mission” regarding Ukraine and the Bidens when he met with Giuliani and the two men at a holiday party last year.
Parnas’ willingness to testify to Congress that Devin Nunes was also involved in the scheme to get dirt from Ukraine on Joe Biden sheds more light on why the California lawmaker has spent the impeachment process shamelessly defending Trump and pushing Russian talking points.
More from CNN:
The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.
“Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” said Bondy.
Bondy tells CNN that his client and Nunes began communicating around the time of the Vienna trip. Parnas says he worked to put Nunes in touch with Ukrainians who could help Nunes dig up dirt on Biden and Democrats in Ukraine, according to Bondy.
That information would likely be of great interest to House Democrats given its overlap with the current impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and could put Nunes in a difficult spot.
Congressional Republicans are in on it
At the beginning of the impeachment process, some folks were hopeful that the ironclad evidence would leave some congressional Republicans with no choice but to abandon Trump.
But it’s quickly becoming evident that the GOP will not be won over by facts or testimony, no matter how credible or damning. That’s because, in one way or another, Republicans members of Congress are all in on it.
Whether it’s being directly involved – as Nunes was – or making themselves accomplices by ignoring the evidence and pushing Russian propaganda, Republicans are actively aiding and abetting Donald Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors.
It’s time to stop pretending the GOP can be convinced to do the right thing and instead start treating them as what they are: accomplices in Donald Trump’s extortion scheme.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.