Impeachment: New trove of documents links Nunes to Parnas

Text messages appear to show Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., interacting with an unknown person in Belgium who was surveilling former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Jan. 19 (UPI) — The House has released more documents related to their impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump — this time linking Rep. Devin Nunes and a congressional candidate to dealings in Ukraine.

The information comes from the third set of documents House Democrats released this week from Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The House released the new trove Friday evening.

The documents include text messages between Derek Harvey, Nunes’ top aide, and Parnas in 2019, apparently discussing U.S. military aid to Ukraine and Trump’s desire for Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Harvey also appears to give Parnas Nunes’ phone number in the days before a House intelligence committee report said Nunes, R-Calif., had a phone conversation with Parnas.

House Democrats accuse Trump of withholding millions in military aid — and a meeting between Trump and Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelensky — from Ukraine in exchange for an announcement of the Biden investigation. A probe into this allegation resulted in the House approving two articles of impeachment against the president, including obstruction of Congress.

In the messages, Harvey and Parnas set up interviews with Ukrainian officials and meetings at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., with Giuliani. One planned meeting included former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, whose firing former Vice President Joe Biden urged.

Trump and Giuliani have both said they have encouraged Ukraine to carry out the investigation into the Bidens. They accused Joe Biden of pressuring Ukraine to fire Shokin, who was investigating a company for which Hunter Biden served on the board.

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Shokin’s successor, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Bloomberg in May that the investigation into the company began before Hunter Biden joined the board, and he wasn’t specifically a target of the probe.

Harvey and Parnas also discussed John Solomon, the former Hill columnist who wrote articles criticizing former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. She was one of the major obstacles in Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate the Bidens, and he recalled her in April.

Yovanovitch said she found Trump’s efforts to remove her undermining, dangerous and precedent-setting. House Democrats believe she was recalled after a smear campaign led by Giuliani.

The new trove of documents also appeared to show efforts to surveil Yovanovitch. There are screenshots of text exchanges between Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde and a phone number in Belgium. The unknown person using the Belgian number tells Hyde about Yovanovitch’s whereabouts.

“Nothing has changed she is still not moving they checked today again,” the person texted.

Parnas’ attorneys said he provided the documents to House investigators in response to a September subpoena. Records released by House Democrats earlier in the week included 59 pages of communications describing an attempted meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky, and the effort to oust Yovanovitch.

Parnas and his business partner Igor Furman were arrested Oct. 9 and charged with conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsifying records as part of a supposed scheme to “funnel foreign money to U.S. candidates.”

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