Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Devin Nunes tells Hannity 'it's possible' he called Lev Parnas, Giuliani's indicted associate

The House Intelligence Committee approved an impeachment report Tuesday evening that includes new information about the committee's top Republican, Devin Nunes (Calif.), communicating by phone with several people involved in the Ukraine plot at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, including President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani's indicted associate Lev Parnas. Sean Hannity had Nunes on his Fox News show Tuesday night, and they focused instead on Nunes' new $435 million defamation lawsuit against CNN.

Nunes is suing CNN for reporting that, according to Parnas' lawyer, former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin said he met with Nunes in Vienna in December 2018 to seek out damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, and Parnas continued the effort with Nunes' staff. Nunes told Hannity that CNN "shouldn't be listening to somebody who's been indicted," meaning Parnas, and noted that — as CNN mentions in the article — he has called the allegations "demonstrably false." Hannity pressed him: "You didn't go anywhere near that [Vienna] area, and nor did you ever meet with the Ukrainian prosecutor that was fired because of Joe?" Nunes said he has pictures of himself in Libya and Malta "at the time frame" and "I wasn't in Vienna, and I didn't meet with this guy Shokin."

Hannity asked about the call logs his colleagues unearthed. "I remember talking to Rudy Giuliani, and we were actually laughing about how [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller bombed out," Nunes said. "Did you ever talk to this guy Les Parnes, or whoever his name is?" Hannity asked. Nunes hedged: "You know, it's possible, but I haven't gone through all my phone records." The House Intelligence Committee did, and there are several between Parnas and Nunes in April, including one that lasted 8 minutes.

"I don't really recall that name," Nunes continued. "But it seems very unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people."

At CNN, Anderson Cooper suggested these call logs put Nunes in a tough spot, and Jeffrey Toobin said he found Nunes' involvement interesting but was more concerned with the Intelligence Committee's persuasive case that Trump abused his power. Peter Weber