Impeachment watch: Devin Nunes won't deny he played a role in Ukraine scandal

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Nunes refused to deny a CNN report that he met with the former Ukrainian prosecutor general to seek dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) now finds himself in the middle of the Ukrainian scandal that threatens Donald Trump, after CNN reported over the weekend that Nunes met with the former Ukrainian prosecutor general to seek dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

In an interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Nunes refused to deny that he met with Viktor Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who Biden helped oust over concerns that Shokin was corrupt.

Shokin helped perpetrate the false smear that Biden pushed for his ouster because Shokin was investigating Burisma, a company that Biden's son Hunter sat on the board of. It's this debunked conspiracy theory that sits at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into Trump, as Democrats allege Trump was trying to extort Ukraine by withholding critical military aid to the country in order to force Ukrainian leadership into investigating Biden — one of Trump's potential 2020 opponents.

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The accusation that Nunes met with Shokin came from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. According to CNN, Parnas said he is willing to meet with congressional investigators to testify about his knowledge of Nunes' meeting with Shokin.

Nunes, for his part, only said that CNN is "totally corrupt" and trying to take him down, and threatened to file a lawsuit against the media organization — just as he's suing a fictional cow on Twitter for making fun of him. Nunes, however, never denied that he was part of the effort to get dirt on the Bidens.

If Nunes was part of that effort, that means he is the leading GOP figure on the very committee that is investigating the Trump pressure campaign against Ukraine, even though he may have been a part of that very pressure campaign.

Here's what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • More bad news for Trump emerged over the weekend, when ABC News reported that the House Intelligence Committee has been reviewing audio, video, and photographic evidence of Trump and Giuliani that was given to them by Parnas, according to ABC News.
  • The White House's own internal review of the Ukrainian scandal found an "extensive" paper trail of administration officials trying to come up with a legitimate reason for Trump to withhold military aid from Ukraine, the Washington Post reported. The review was undertaken by the White House Counsel's office, and according to the Washington Post contains emails that White House officials worry "could pose political problems if revealed publicly," according to the Washington Post's report. Key among the evidence are emails from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was in communication with officials from the Office of Management and Budget to try to justify why Trump had placed a hold on the $400 million in military aid to the country — even though it's been established that Trump was holding that aid to try and force Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the Democratic National Committee. Trump, for his part, has refused to provide documents and has demanded his aides not testify in the impeachment probe, a move that could earn him more articles of impeachment.
  • Giuliani for his part went on Fox News to claim that if Trump tries to throw him under the bus, he has an "insurance" policy, suggesting he has dirt on Trump that would make it unwise for Trump to turn on him. Giuliani later tweeted that he was being "sarcastic."
  • And lastly, even though the public impeachment hearings have wrapped, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said the House is still investigating the allegations.

Come back tomorrow for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.