It was revealed last week that ranking Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, who has been a reliable disruption throughout that House impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, had himself traveled to Vienna to meet with corrupt Ukrainian ex-prosecutor Victor Shokin. The trip was facilitated by the now-indicted Lev Parnas, Ukrainian partner of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and its purpose was to obtain “dirt” on potential Trump election rival Joe Biden—the same motive held by Trump, Giuliani, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo themselves when pressuring the Ukrainian government, the very act to precipitate the current impeachment investigation.
Rep. Nunes undisclosed personal involvement with the same allegedly criminal acts that will likely result in impeachment charges against Trump and criminal charges against Giuliani and, possibly, still more others, sheds light on his continued efforts to block House investigators seeking information about those acts. He did not disclose that he was in fact a fact witness to the very effort in question, and coordinating with several of the same individuals.
But there was one question remaining: Did Nunes make these Parnas-Shokin arrangements to uncover supposed “dirt” on a Republican opponent in a personal capacity, making him merely an idiot, or did he use taxpayer funds for the partisan, election-premised trip, a violation of campaign laws?
We now know the answer. Yes, he did it the criminal way. Of course he did.
Newsweek is now reporting that Nunes’ congressional office spent $57,000 in taxpayer money to fly Nunes and three members of his congressional staff to Europe for secret meetings with Shokin and other Parnas-arranged “sources.”
Rep. Nunes now faces a formal ethics complaint over his status as undisclosed witness, the resulting conflict of interest inherent to that act, and for his use of taxpayer funds for domestic political purposes. While past charges for unethical behavior and leaking classified information—also centered on defending Trump—were buried by a Republican then-majority on the Ethics Committee, the current Democratic-held committee is expected to treat these charges with the seriousness they are due.