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House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Saturday that he would be pursuing legal action after his phone records were exposed in the release of the Committee’s impeachment inquiry report.
On Tuesday, the Committee voted to adopt and issue the 300-page report on the findings from the panel’s impeachment inquiry, accusing President Trump of misusing his office to seek foreign help in the 2020 presidential race. The report included records of calls from Nunes, presidential lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, journalist John Solomon, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Giuliani connection Lev Parnas, and other White House associates.
Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” with hosts Pete Hegseth, Lisa Boothe, and Ed Henry, Nunes said he’s been under fire for three years because Republicans “continue to expose corruption,” citing Democrats “unmasking Trump transition officials” and “funding the dossier” to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.
“And then, of course, over the two weeks before Thanksgiving, I think they were embarrassed by their lack of evidence they were able to present through the hearings,” he said. “So, what happened is, the Friday before Thanksgiving, this fake news story drops about me supposedly being in Vienna. And then we get back from Thanksgiving and then — lo and behold — my name along with one of my current staff people…and a former staff person, all of a sudden our civil liberties are violated because our phone records show up in this report.”
The Congressman is currently suing CNN for defamation after the network published reporting alleging that he met with Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin last year in Vienna in order to dig up “dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden was “demonstrably false.”
Nunes told the “Friends: Weekend” hosts that, upon review, his phone records do not match what Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Democrats put in the report.
“So, you did not talk to Lev Parnas, for example, as many times as they’re alleging?” asked Henry.
“Well, let me tell you what I have. I can tell you that, it doesn’t match. Okay?” Nunes replied. “So, I have one call with Rudy Giuliani in April, one in May. Substantive calls…The rest of the calls are where either somebody didn’t connect or it was a voicemail, right?”
Nunes also recognized an incoming call from a woman who he had assumed was Parnas’ wife.
“I would do what I would normally do in a situation where you don’t recognize somebody, you don’t know somebody: you say ‘thank you very much. Let me get you to the appropriate staff person,'” he noted.
“So, did you ever have a substantive conversation with Lev Parnas about information in Ukraine — yes or no?” Henry probed further.
“I didn’t recognize the name until just in the last month when he was indicted, because I didn’t know who the person was,” said Nunes. “I can tell you that there’s no way that I talked about me being in Vienna meeting with random Ukrainians; that didn’t happen. Right? So, I can tell you we didn’t talk about that because that didn’t happen.”
Nunes said that Schiff is “in touch” with Parnas all the time, and if there’s a “problem with Parnas” they need to “investigate themselves.”
“And so, the truth is two calls with Rudy Giuliani and one call with a guy that I don’t even know seems pretty odd to say that that’s a conspiracy,” he added.
“I believe I am the first member of Congress ever to have [my] phone records exposed like this,” Nunes stated. “We’re definitely going to take legal action.”
“We need to get to court to try to stop that from happening again,” he concluded.