Giuliani associate prepared to tell Congress Nunes tried to get dirt on Biden from former Ukraine official

Washington Examiner 2 weeks ago

An associate of President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is reportedly willing to tell Congress that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor in an effort to dig up dirt on 2020 Democrat Joe Biden.

A lawyer for Lev Parnas told CNN on Friday that his client learned directly from the ex-Ukrainian official about his meetings with Nunes in Vienna.

"Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December," the lawyer said, referring to the official who was ousted in 2016 after pressure from then-Vice President Biden and other Western leaders.

The attorney added that Parnas put Nunes in contact with Ukrainians who could help him get dirt on Biden and other Democrats. According to Parnas, Nunes "had told Shokin of the urgent need to launch investigations into Burisma, Joe and Hunter Biden, and any purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election."

Nunes allegedly told Parnas he was conducting his own investigation into the Bidens, asking Parnas for help confirming information he had obtained via conversations with current and former Ukrainian officials.

Congressional travel records show Nunes traveled to Europe with three aides in late 2018, but it is unclear if he went to Vienna or Austria. Retired Col. Derek Harvey, who accompanied the congressman, told Parnas that Nunes "had sequenced this trip to occur after the midterm elections yet before Congress's return to session so that Nunes would not have to disclose the trip details to his Democrat colleagues in Congress."

Following the White House's annual Hanukkah party last year, Parnas reportedly bragged that he was on a "secret mission" to investigate Biden from the "big guy," meaning Trump. According to his lawyer, he also met with a representative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government in May to warn the country that the Trump administration would freeze military aid unless it announced an investigation into Biden.

Parnas, who was arrested with Giuliani associate Igor Fruman on campaign finance-related charges last month, has signaled that he is ready to cooperate with the impeachment proceedings into the president. The pair also reportedly pressured the previous president of Ukraine to investigate Biden.

Nunes has been a staunch defender of Trump throughout the impeachment proceedings so far, accusing House Democrats of running a "circus."


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