by WorldTribune Staff, December 9, 2019
House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff divulged the phone logs of Rep. Devin Nunes, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and reporter John Solomon.
Schiff included the phone logs as evidence in his report on the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings.
Nunes said Schiff’s actions are evidence of the California Democrat’s incessant pursuit of debunked conspiracy theories and of revenge for a report issued by the Intelligence Committee in 2018 — then chaired by Nunes — which cleared Trump and his campaign of colluding with Russia in the 2016 election.
In March of this year, special counsel Robert Mueller came to the same conclusion.
Giuliani tweeted in response to Schiff: “The mere fact I had numerous calls with the White House does not establish any specific topic. Remember, I’m the President’s attorney.”
The Schiff report’s other notable phone log name is that of Solomon, who has worked at The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Hill. He now runs his own news website and has written a number of stories exposing the Bidens’ Ukraine ties.
Solomon tweeted after the impeachment report: “Adam Schiff arbitrarily releases my phone records as a 1st Amendment protected reporter.”
Some observers say Schiff may also be primed to get back at Nunes for past embarrassments.
Without mentioning Schiff’s name, Nunes at public hearings has twice brought up the fact that Schiff was pranked by a Russian radio personality into thinking he was talking by phone to a Ukrainian official who promised photographs of a naked Trump. A Schiff aide later sent an email to the supposed Ukrainian politician asking whether the photos had been sent to the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington.
Nunes, California Republican, made two appearances on Fox News over the weekend and said Schiff violated his civil rights, which he will pursue in a court challenge.
Nunes said that, given Giuliani’s work as President Donald Trump’s legal counsel, Schiff likely now owns phone records for other members of Congress and journalists.
Nunes said Schiff acquired “pages of metadata of numbers. So somehow they went through there and found my cell number a few times, and what’s even worse is they selectively used my numbers in order to build on their conspiracy theory that somehow myself and my two staffers … that they don’t like because we embarrassed them with the Russia hoax.
“That’s what this is all about. It’s about retribution for what we’ve done to them the last three years because they don’t like that we outed them with their Russia hoax and now their Ukraine hoax. That’s what this is about. I’m not going to trust anything that Adam Schiff has to say until we go through thousands of pages of metadata.”
Schiff insists the calls are evidence of a conspiracy between Nunes and the White House.
“It is, I think, deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Schiff told reporters.
Nunes and Schiff, “who sit side by side during committee hearings, have become intense rivals,” Rowan Scarborough wrote in a Dec. 8 analysis for The Washington Times.
“Schiff promoted the Trump-Russia election conspiracy and its prime artifact: a dossier financed by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign and sourced to the Kremlin. Schiff fought all efforts by Nunes to discover who funded the dossier and how the FBI used it as a prime piece of evidence to target Trump associates,” Scarborough wrote.
Nunes has said Schiff’s tactic of targeting a member of Congress in an official report is unprecedented. The call list is sparse and provides zero information on what was discussed, he said.
Schiff’s Dec. 3 report also injects into the impeachment debate Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, “a Nunes accuser who never testified in impeachment depositions and hearings,” Scarborough noted.
Parnas, a Soviet-born U.S. citizen, “has gone from Giuliani ally to a detractor and, in the process, drawn Nunes into his mix of allegations,” Scarborough noted.
The FBI on Oct. 9 arrested Parnas and his business associate Igor Fruman on charges of making illegal campaign donations as a way to increase their political influence.
Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Parnas, told CNN and The Daily Beast that, according to Parnas, Nunes met secretly in Vienna in December 2018 with Viktor Shokin, a former Ukrainian chief prosecutor. Parnas said the motive was to find dirt on Joe Biden.
Nunes vehemently denied any such a trip or meeting. He filed a defamation lawsuit last week in U.S. District Court in Richmond against CNN. He said that on that particular 2018 trip, known as a congressional delegation, he visited only Libya and Malta, not Austria. He said he has never spoken with Shokin.
Parnas also has claimed that he met privately with Trump at a White House Hanukkah party and that the president sent him on a mission to find derogatory information on Biden.
Giuliani, who brought Parnas to the party as a guest, said such a meeting never occurred. He said he and Parnas posed one minute for a photo with Trump.
“Poor Lev,” Giuliani told Fox News. “I don’t know what he’s doing to himself.”