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Nunes, top intelligence panel Republican, had frequent contact with Giuliani, call records show

A call log between U.S. President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani and the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, Devin Nunes, is seen in a 300-page report by the Democratic-led House of Representatives Intelligence Committee published in Washington, U.S. December 3, 2019. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee/Handout via REUTERS.

December 3, 2019

By Jonathan Landay and Heather Timmons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, spoke often to U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, as Giuliani peddled unproven allegations at the heart of the Trump impeachment inquiry, a congressional report said Tuesday.

Previously undisclosed telephone records appended to a 300-page report https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20191203_-_full_report___hpsci_impeachment_inquiry_-_20191203.pdf by the Democratic-led House of Representatives Intelligence Committee show that Giuliani also held calls with current and former Nunes staffers, the White House budget office, an indicted Ukrainian-American associate and a journalist who promoted the unproven conspiracy theories involving Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden and the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Giuliani’s numerous calls with Nunes and his current and former staffers are significant because, as the senior-most Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, the California lawmaker was the committee’s leading voice against impeaching Trump.

The report, which will form the basis of any impeachment charges, accused Trump of using his power to push Ukraine to investigate the conspiracy theories in return for a White House meeting for its newly elected president and nearly $400 million in security aid.

The report cites previously undisclosed call records from AT&T <T.N>. A spokesman for the telecom giant said that, like all companies, “We are required by law to provide information to government and law enforcement agencies. In all cases, we ensure that requests for assistance are valid and that we act in compliance with the law.”

Nunes’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Neither Giuliani nor his attorney, Robert Costello, immediately responded to a request for comment on the report and on Nunes in particular.

In an Oct. 5 interview with Reuters, however, Giuliani said he had been in contact with Nunes about Ukraine, but “not a lot” and that the lawmaker and his staff obtained information on their own.

“We’ve talked about some of it, yes,” Giuliani said in the interview. “But we haven’t investigated it together.”

The AT&T call records showed that Giuliani maintained more frequent contacts in official Washington than were disclosed in some two months of open and closed-door testimonies by current and former U.S. officials held by the intelligence panel and two other House committees conducting the impeachment review.

In the hearings, Nunes cited the same unproven allegations supported by Giuliani that Biden tried to curb an investigation into a Ukrainian energy firm on whose board his son was a member. He and other Republicans on the intelligence committee also referred to a debunked theory that it was Ukraine – not Russia – that interfered in the 2016 U.S. president election.

The call records showed that over the course of four days in April, Giuliani had calls with Nunes, John Solomon, a conservative columnist whose articles promoted the allegations, and Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman who has been indicted on campaign finance violations.

Nunes and Giuliani shared “three short calls in rapid succession,” then a text message and a three-minute call, the report said.

On May 8, Giuliani spoke with Derek Harvey, a member of Nunes’ staff and a former White House official, and on May 10 with Kashyap Patel, a former Nunes staff member who is now a senior counterterrorism official at the White House’s National Security Council. The report said Patel maintained close contact with Nunes’ office.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Heather Timmons and Jonathan Oatis)

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