The lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani said his client is willing to tell Congress that Rep. Devin Nunes of California met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor last year to discuss investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Joseph Bondy represents Lev Parnas, who was indicted last month on campaign finance charges, and claims his client heard directly from the former Ukrainian official about this meeting in Vienna with Nunes, who has become a key Trump defender in the impeachment inquiry as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. “Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” Bondy told CNN.
Shokin was fired from his post as prosecutor in 2016 after numerous Western leaders, including Biden, expressed concern that he wasn’t pursuing corruption cases. Trump and Nunes say Biden wanted Shokin to be removed to protect his son, Hunter Biden. That is a claim Shokin himself makes, but there is no evidence that proves it is true.
Word that Nunes reportedly met with Shokin at least seems to line up with a report from earlier this week by the Daily Beast that reported Parnas helped “arrange meetings and calls in Europe” for Nunes in 2018. The meetings also included Derek Harvey, Nunes’ investigator. “I can confirm that Victor Shokin told Lev Parnas that he had met with Nunes in Vienna in late 2018, and that Derek Harvey informed that they were investigating the activities of Joe and Hunter Biden related to Burisma,” Bondy also confirmed to NBC News. In a tweet Friday, Bondy seems to suggest Parnas is already in conversations with House investigators but that has not been confirmed.
Nunes declined to comment to CNN: “I don’t talk to you in this lifetime or the next lifetime.” But the Republican lawmaker did talk to Breitbart News and vowed to sue both CNN and the Daily Beast for their reports. “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” Nunes told Breitbart. “Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.”
Some were quick to note that as explosive as Bondy’s allegations are, Parnas is not exactly the most credible witness. “Just because he says something definitely does not make it true,” warned Chris Hayes.