Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has bet his entire career on being one of Donald Trump’s most vociferous defenders in Congress.
As the GOP’s ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes’ name was plastered on the very front of the 123-page minority report presenting the Republican interpretation of the findings of the impeachment hearings and — as expected — those exonerating findings bore little resemblance to the takeaways that anyone not already firmly in Trump’s orbit of patronage would have garnered from the testimony of the fact witnesses who appeared before the committee.
Now, the California representative is facing the prospect of having placed his money on a lame horse fortified with illegal performance enhancers after the evidence presented in the 300-page impeachment report published by the Democratic majority on the committee showcased the depth and extent of the Trump administration’s schemes and Nunes’ own direct involvement in a conspiracy that he was supposedly investigating on behalf of the American people.
While the Intelligence committee’s findings amounted to a “sweeping indictment of the president’s behavior,” as The New York Times described them, buried in its supporting details of the case for impeaching the president were call records that definitively tie Nunes to the political hit job orchestrated by Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted associate, Lev Parnas.
Looks like Devin #Nunes is in deep, deep trouble.
Comprehensive list of call records listed in #ImpeachmentReport
Nunes/senior aide Derek Harvey calls
Giuliani and indicted Lev Parnas, who were engaged in disinformation campaign and Ukraine dirt on Bidens. pic.twitter.com/n0bKgBnpIX
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) December 3, 2019
The calls indicate that Nunes was on the wrong side of the dais during the impeachment hearings and should have been a fact witness himself rather than being allowed to interrogate the other Trump administration figures who testified.
While Nunes has said that he can’t confirm ever having spoken with Parnas, the lawyer for the indicted Giuliani associate says that his client remembers the call and its content quite well.
— Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) December 6, 2019
As the news of the call records spread, angry citizens on social media wondered why Congressman Nunes hadn’t recused himself from this supervisory role in the hearings — or resigned from Congress entirely— and called for an investigation to hold him accountable for his unethical behavior.
— Randomly Speaking Pod (@PodRandomly) December 3, 2019
Since Nunes was on Trump's transition team which was based in NYC, isn't he fair game for SDNY?
I hope Riker's doesn't close before Nunes is charged! pic.twitter.com/8ds2eiT3oh
— yaya "get over it" nana (@yayanan54247678) December 3, 2019
This last comment refers back to one of Congressman Nunes’ initial forays into the shady world of secretive White House meetings when he was accused of making a “midnight run” to discuss the findings being uncovered in the then-nascent investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Russia early in 2017 when he was Chairman of the Intelligence Committee for the then-Republican majority.
It was that foray that established Nunes’s reputation as one of Trump’s most compromised accomplices in Congress, a role that the new evidence revealed in today’s impeachment report only serves to confirm.
The report does show that there is still much to learn about the Ukraine conspiracy and all its moving parts, something that can be remedied by putting Nunes, Giuliani, and Parnas in front of Congress to testify under oath.
Hopefully, oaths still have meaning to Nunes who has become so adept at spreading lies that his direct involvement in the case has remained a secret until now.
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this article’s excerpt implied that Devin Nunes himself was personally involved on the phone calls and not just his staff, which is likely but still not proven. It also has been updated to provide further context about Lev Parnas’ accusations directly naming Nunes as involved in the scandal.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.