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Top anti-impeachment Republican was in contact with indicted Ukraine suspect, Giuliani phone logs reveal

Top anti-impeachment Republican was in contact with indicted Ukraine suspect, Giuliani phone logs reveal

During Congressional hearings in Donald Trump‘s impeachment investigation, Devin Nunes chastised Democrats and promoted a conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that backed interference campaigns in US elections in 2016. But phone logs obtained by Congress show that the Republican Congressman spoke regularly with Mr Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, who is alleged to

During Congressional hearings in Donald Trump‘s impeachment investigation, Devin Nunes chastised Democrats and promoted a conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that backed interference campaigns in US elections in 2016.

But phone logs obtained by Congress show that the Republican Congressman spoke regularly with Mr Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, who is alleged to have coordinated a campaign within the Trump administration to pressure Ukraine to find supposedly damaging information on the president’s political rivals ahead of 2020 elections.

The phone records appear in a report from the US House Intelligence Committee — on which Mr Nunes sits.

Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said that it is “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.”

The committee’s report — a 300-page summary of the findings in the investigation into Mr Trump and his alleged abuses of power in his dealings with Ukraine — illustrate a potential network of coordinated information shared among the men, including an associate of Mr Giuliani who has been indicted for using foreign money to influence US campaigns. 

The report shows three short calls “in rapid succession” between Mr Giuliani and Mr Nunes, followed by a text message, and then a three-minute phone call, all on 10 April.

Later that day, Mr Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas spoke with John Solomon, a columnist for The Hill, for nearly four minutes.

A few days earlier, Mr Solomon wrote a column outlining the conspiracy theory endorsed by Mr Giuliani and other Republicans who have attacked the impeachment inquiry.

The theory posits that Ukrainian officials supported efforts to prevent Mr Trump’s presidency while shielding Joe Biden’s son, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, from prosecution.

US intelligence officials have debunked the theory, largely considered a politically motivated distraction from actual evidence of Russian-backed disinformation campaigns intended to undermine US elections. 

On 12 April, Mr Nunes spoke with Mr Parnas, then Mr Parnas talked with Mr Giuliani, then Mr Solomon. After that call, Mr Parnas spoke with Mr Nunes for more than eight minutes. Mr Parnas then called Mr Solomon

Later that day, Mr Giuliani spoke to someone at the White House for more than five minutes.

On 8 May, Mr Giuliani spoke to someone at the White House for more than six minutes.

That same day, he talked to Mr Solomon as well as Mr Parnas and Derek Harvey, a member of Mr Nunes’ staff on the House Intelligence Committee.

In October, Mr Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested by federal authorities in October for campaign finance violations in an attempt to “influence US-Ukraine relations.” They pleaded not guilty.

In a statement, The Hill editor Bob Susack said the publication is “conducting a meticulous review of opinion columns written by John Solomon on the subject of Ukraine that will be handled by a team of editors and reporters. All results of the review will be transparent and public.”

The report also has records of calls between Mr Giuliani and the Office of Management and Budget, then headed by now White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to being formal impeachment hearings this week.

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