(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Last week, former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas took his media redemption tour, which is given to all those who show even the slightest possibility of getting the orange man. He appeared on Maddow’s show (and later CNN) to make a bunch of accusations, some unproven and some outright false. Because of the platforms he chose, he was able to say whatever he wanted with no push back while getting to frame himself as the victim.
In actuality, Parnas is clearly the designer of his own deeds, having been manipulating matters in Ukraine for years. For example, it wasn’t Rudy Giuliani who approached Parnas about removing Yovanovitch or her possibly having bias against the President. Rather, it was Parnas who fed Giuliani that crap and then paid him $500,000 to represent him. This was all done to benefit Parnas personally. He was not an innocent lackey of Trump.
That doesn’t excuse Rudy Giuliani for getting involved with the guy, even if he didn’t realize what was happening, but it does paint a very different picture than the “Trump as the evil mastermind” image the media are trying to present.
That leads to another issue, which is Parnas attempting to tie everyone within Trump’s orbit to himself, such as AG Bill Barr, VP Mike Pence, and Rep. Devin Nunes. This is being done with new “evidence,” some of which includes cherry picked text messages between Nunes and Parnas. These were released by Adam Schiff it is being spun as proof of some nefarious plot that Nunes was involved in.
Analysis: New text messages put Devin Nunes on the hot seat https://t.co/WEcpTJEpL3
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 18, 2020
This is absolute nonsense and it’s a dangerous way to present this story.
In reality, the only reason Devin Nunes was in contact with Parnas back in early 2019 was because he was running an investigation at the time into Russian interference in the election. Part of that was tracking down allegations involving Ukraine. Nunes was just doing his job.
Ashe Schow over at The Daily Wire points out the ridiculousness of how the media are treating these text message.
Nunes had been investigating Ukraine’s roll in what became Russiagate – the claim that Trump’s 2016 election team conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election – long before Trump’s call with Zelensky.
The text messages between Parnas and Harvey started in early 2019. The committee was conducting its own investigation into the origins of Russiagate and their findings were largely validated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report in March 2019 and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report in December 2019.
It makes sense that Nunes’ team would be looking into all angles regarding Russiagate, even Ukraine’s alleged involvement (which the Beast claims is a “conspiracy theory”) but the media wants people to believe this is all very nefarious and that Nunes is somehow involved in what Democrats want Trump impeached over.
Worse, this isn’t the first time Nunes has been smeared based on misrepresentations about text messages and phone records. You’ll recall that Schiff obtained and released the private phone records of Nunes last month, starting a firestorm of misinformation.
“It is deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Schiff told the outlet.
In actuality, Nunes was again just doing his job as part of the Intel Committee. The irony is that Schiff has also spoken to numerous unsavory figures throughout this process, including Parnas himself. Does that mean Schiff is also part of an elicit scheme? According to the logic being bandied about by the media, it should. That standard only applies to Republicans though.
Nunes did nothing wrong here and Schiff has to eventually pay a price for this kind of gross dishonesty in how he handles his leadership role. When Republicans retake the House at some point in the future, Schiff should be investigated and punished in whatever ways possible.
In the meantime, any outlets that try to present these texts between Nunes and Parnas as anything other than innocuous should be labeled what they are – partisan hacks.