Rep. Devin Nunes keeps using the impeachment hearing to accuse Democrats of wanting to find nude photos of Donald Trump.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) once again rattled off ridiculous conspiracy theories in his opening statement in the second public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump on Friday, claiming that Democratic lawmakers are out to find nude photos of Trump.
"When you find yourself on the phone, as Democrats did, with Russian pranksters offering nude photos of Trump, and afterward you order your staff to follow up and get the photos, as Democrats also did, then it might be time to ask yourself if you've gone out too far on a limb," Nunes said.
Nunes' accusation that Democrats want to find nude photos of Trump is misleading, to say the least.
He's referring to a 2017 prank call from Russians who were masquerading as Ukrainian government officials. The pranksters called Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and claimed that they knew about the existence of "compromising" naked photographs of Trump from a 2013 visit Trump made to Moscow.
Schiff, for his part, was calm on the call, and expressed his concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin would use the nude photographs to extort Trump. Schiff told the pranksters that he would alert the FBI about finding the images, according to a report from the Atlantic at the time.
"And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the compromising material?" Schiff asked the pranksters, according to the Atlantic, later saying that he would "work with the FBI to figure out, along with your staff, how we can obtain copies."
In his opening statement Friday, Nunes also brought up other conspiracy theories that circulate through right-wing circles, all in an attempt to defend Trump from the impeachment inquiry.
However, Nunes offered no defense of Trump, who is facing mounds of evidence that he attempted to extort Ukraine into investigating Trump's political rivals by withholding critical military aid to the country.
This has been Nunes' strategy in both public impeachment hearings.
In the first public hearing on Wednesday, Nunes attempted to get the first two witnesses — American diplomats focused on Ukraine — to go along with his conspiracy theories and agree that Ukrainians were unfairly hostile toward Trump and that Trump had reason to be distrustful of the country. Nunes became visibly frustrated when they rebuffed his attempts and debunked his claims.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.