A House Democrat just pointed out the surprising fact that the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican member might have to appear as a fact witness in the panel’s impeachment inquiry.
Indicated Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas handed a bombshell exclusive story to The Daily Beast last night when his lawyer admitted that he set up meetings and calls for an investigation conducted by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) in Europe last year while he was traveling on an official congressional delegation.
Last night, Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell (D-CA) wrote a viral tweet about the ranking member’s literal obsession with falsely claiming Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is a fact witness to the impeachment inquiry.
Paradoxically, the story that ties Nunes to Parnas—who worked on a “secret mission” with Trump’s personal lawyer to drum up an investigation into the Bidens in Ukraine, before being disavowed by the President and turning on him—means that it could be the high-ranking Republican congressman who becomes a fact witness that could be compelled to give sworn testimony to the impeachment inquiry.
That fact wasn’t lost on Swalwell, who entered the Beast’s story into the official record of the inquiry and said, “Now, if this story is correct, the Ranking Member [Nunes] may have actually been projecting. And in fact, he may be the fact witness if he is working with indicted individuals around our investigation.”
Story continues below the video:
Rep. Eric Swalwell enters The Daily Beast's story that Rudy Giuliani's indicted boss Lev Parnas says he helped set up meetings and phone calls in Europe on behalf of Ranking Member Devin Nunes, which could make him a fact witness.#ImpeachmentHearings pic.twitter.com/2hJNhicViu
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) November 22, 2019
A fact witness can and should be compelled to testify under oath to the impeachment inquiry since their role is to relate to investigators what they saw, heard and did about any particular topic.
Nunes has spent significant airtime falsely claiming that Schiff should testify just because the whistleblower who blew open Trump’s Ukraine bribery followed proper channels and spoke with one of his House Intelligence Committee staffers before submitting a complaint to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community.
After five days of public impeachment hearings, even the whistleblower’s testimony as a fact witness isn’t necessary, since pretty much everything he wrote has been confirmed by multiple, high-ranking members of the Trump administration who have testified under oath.
However, Rep. Swalwell is definitely not projecting, because not only does the report associating Devin Nunes with Parnas have some factual basis for having happened while the Republican congressman was trying to investigate Special Counsel Mueller’s investigators, taxpayers footed the bill which would give the House Oversight Committee jurisdiction to investigate under any circumstances.
The House subpoenaed Lev Parnas in September, who owns a company oddly named Fraud Guarantee that hired Rudy Giuliani for half a million dollars, and also the Trump lawyer’s other associate Igor Fruman, so if there is a proven link from either man to Nunes, he could be called to testify. TDB reports:
Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, Parnas’ lawyer Ed MacMahon told The Daily Beast.
Nunes aide Derek Harvey participated in the meetings, the lawyer said, which were arranged to help Nunes’ investigative work. MacMahon didn’t specify what those investigations entailed.
Congressional records show Nunes traveled to Europe from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018. Three of his aides—Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas—traveled with him, per the records. U.S. government funds paid for the group’s four-day trip, which cost just over $63,000.
Earlier this month, Lev Parnas agreed to cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, even though his belongings have been thoroughly searched and some of them seized by the FBI.
Now, it appears that the scorned Giuliani associate’s cooperation has a real chance to expose Rep. Nunes to a blistering deposition for the ongoing impeachment inquiry, under oath, in front of his own congressional committee.
What do you think?
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.