Apparently, this story was shopped to five different outlets. Color me shocked, shocked I tell you, that CNN would be the one with such little journalistic integrity so as to run with this.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 23, 2019
A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani told CNN that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.
This is a farcical tale so improbably stupid that you’d think it wouldn’t make it past Mother Jones, but I guess their standards were too high. Lev Parnas is currently under indictment for matters completely unrelated to politics, but he is hoping to garner favor with the prosecution. What better way to do that in the SDNY than proclaim you’ve got dirt on a Republican?
This is a throw back to Michael Cohen, who made numerous attempts desperately trying to get Congress and the DOJ to keep him out of prison by promising damaging information on Donald Trump.
CNN’s latest story on Nunes is “Cohen in Prague with cell phone pings” levels of ridiculous. There is absolutely no chance that he made a secret trip, of which there are no records and no one knows about, abroad to collude with Ukraine. The idea that only Lev Parnas knows this information is laughable.
No doubt, Fusion GPS has their hands in this. They are almost always the vehicle to shop these conspiratorial stories to the media. For his part, Devin Nunes is having none of it. He’s suing CNN for defamation.
Some of the lawsuits that Nunes has filed in the past are a bit silly and probably going nowhere, but when you are dealing with a billion dollar corporation (as CNN and its parent company are) the only way to push back on this garbage is through the legal system.
CNN rushes to report this story with zero corroboration, simply relying on the word of a guy who’s under indictment and is looking for help. Notice that he wants to talk to Congress. That’s likely because the SDNY laughed in his face. I’m sure Adam Schiff will take this super seriously though because he’s just a man doing his duty or something.
Our media are a dumpster fire. No story like this would have ever been published about a Democrat when Obama was in office. These outlets used to at least feign some semblance of journalist standards. But those no longer exist in the era of orange man bad.