Nunes Hits CNN With $435M Defamation Suit Over Vienna Story

Ruben Fields
December 4, 2019

The story relied on an account from Lev Parnas, a now-indicted business associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, relayed to CNN by his attorney, Joseph A. Bondy; Bondy has also said his client would be willing to tell Congress he learned from Shokin directly that he and Nunes met in Vienna a year ago.

"Devin Nunes did not go to Vienna or anywhere else in Austria in 2018", says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia, and reported by The Washington Times. He claimed CNN had an "axe to grind" and slammed the network for relying on an "indicted" person as a source.

Nunes's 47-page complaint accused Parnas of manufacturing a narrative he hoped would help him negotiate a deal with federal prosecutors or obtain immunity from Congress, and argued that it was "obvious to everyone - including disgraceful CNN - that Parnas was a fraudster and a hustler".

Parnas, Giuliani, and another associate named Igor Fruman have been accused of conspiring to oust former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and Giuliani also has been accused of helping President Trump push Ukrainian officials to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden.

The records, according to Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell, were subpoenaed from third-parties. This meeting never took place.

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"We were actually laughing about how Mueller bombed out", he said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) defended Nunes during a press conference on Tuesday, telling reporters, "I don't have a problem with Devin talking to individuals". I don't really recall that name.

"I'll go back and check all my records, but it seems very unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people", he added. "Viktor Shokin doesn't know and hasn't even heard of Devin Nunes".

"And I will tell you this, anything that we have from Parnas and his lawyers, whatever game they are up to, we will work directly with the Justice Department to make sure that these guys aren't just trying to obstruct justice, to obstruct our congressional investigation, or to lie to Congress", he said. "In what way, if any, is that problematic?"

The legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett, made the remarks while speaking to Fox News host Brian Kilmeade Wednesday morning.

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