Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, helped organize European meetings and calls for Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, Parnas' attorney Ed MacMahon told The Daily Beast.
Nunes aide Derek Harvey participated in the meetings, the lawyer said, organized to assist with Nunes's investigation work. MacMahon did not specify what those investigations included.
Nunes was the leading Republican on the House committee to hold impeachment hearings – hearings in which Parnas's name was repeatedly raised. assistants – Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas ̵1; traveled with him, per the note. U.S. government funds paid for the group's four-day trip, totaling more than $ 63,000.
The trip comes as Nunes, in his role on the House Intelligence Committee, is working to investigate the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's disruption to the Russian election.
Parnas' assistance to the Nunes team has not been reported. A spokesperson for Nunes did not respond to requests for comment.
Nunes oversees the GOP's involvement in impeachment inquiry. He spent most of his time criticizing the investigation and media coverage about it. "In their mania to attack the President, there is no conspiracy theory that is too futile for Democrats," he said Wednesday morning before Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified. Later in the day, Nunes accused Democrats of harboring "Watergate fantasies."
"I think they think of it at night," he said.
Giuliani has been the subject of several discussions at the impeachment hearing. To a lesser extent, so did Parnas and his companion, Igor Fruman, who worked with Giuliani as he attempted to find derogatory information about Joe and Hunter Biden from Ukrainian sources.
Nunes is at the center of a wider story about foreigners. Washington influence President Donald Trump. When investigators in Congress began investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 campaign, Nunes made an overnight visit to the White House and announced the next day that he had found evidence of serious misconduct by officials Intelligence Community. The move appears to be an effort to corroborate a tweet by the president claiming Obama wiretapped Trump tower. Nunes then resigned from the task of a committee reviewing Russia's efforts. Instead, he ran a parallel investigation that looked at Mueller's Russian origin. The practice made him a hero in the president and Sean Hannity, and a bête noire of Democrats and Intelligence Community officials. That work was still underway when he traveled to Europe in 2018.
Last month, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York charged Parnas and Fruman with illegally transferring money from foreigners donor to American political campaigns. Both men maintain their innocence.
"Contrary to many aspirations in the press to this day, Lev Parnas is a proud U.S. citizen, who has lived here since he was four years old," said Joseph Bondy, a lawyer in his legal firm team.
"" Raised in Brooklyn, and now living in Florida, Mr. Parnas is happily married with six children – five living at home – and an enthusiasm for America and its democratic values. At all times, he believed that what he was doing was developing the President and thus the national interest. President Trump's recent and regrets by Mr. Parnas have led him to rethink his involvement and the real reasons for his recruitment to participate in Presidential activities. Mr. Parnas is prepared to testify fully and accurately about his involvement with the President and quid pro quo projio of Rudy Giuliani of Ukraine. ”
When Nunes traveled to Europe in 2018, Giuliani – Trump's personal lawyer – was working to get rid of him. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Kyiv. The Parnas and Fruman Department of Justice announce that they illegally transferred money to the American election to "advance the political interests of … a Ukrainian government official seeking the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine."
Allegations against Yovanovitch blew in American conservative media, including on The Hill and on Fox News by Sean Hannity. Donald Trump Jr. even joined the chorus of voices calling for Yovanovitch to be remembered. And on May 20, he was.
Many US officials, however, testified at the impeachment inquiry that the claims against him were baseless. Yovanovitch himself testified to investigators last week. Like all other impeachment hearings, Nunes led him to question Republicans.
– further reporting by Anna Nemtsova and Jackie Kucinich