Lev Parnas, the Rudy Giuliani associate currently under federal indictment for campaign finance violations, helped Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) arrange meetings in Europe as part of his efforts to discredit the investigation of Russian contacts within President Donald Trump’s campaign, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday night.
Citing congressional records, The Beast reported that Nunes, in his capacity as then-House Intelligence Chairman, took a trip to Europe from November 30 to December 3, of last year, during which he was accompanied by three staffers — Derek Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas — at a taxpayer expense of over $63,000.
The travel came as Nunes, in his role on the House Intelligence Committee, was working to investigate the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling.
As noted by The Beast, “Parnas’ assistance to Nunes’ team has not been previously reported.”
Parnas, along with his fellow indicted Giuliani associate Igor Fruman, played a role in pressuring Ukraine to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, as Trump withheld crucial military aid from the country. Giuliani himself is reportedly also under investigation for the scheme, which is the subject of the impeachment proceedings against the president.
Nunes has been at the center of the broader story about foreign influence in President Donald Trump’s Washington. When Congressional investigators began probing Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, Nunes made a late-night visit to the White House and announced the next day he’d found evidence of egregious wrongdoing by Intelligence Community officials. The move appeared to be an effort to corroborate a presidential tweet claiming that Obama wiretapped Trump tower.”