House Democrats today accused President Trump's pals and supporters of coordinating with a right wing "journalist" to publish "false narratives" about Trump's opponents as part of a coordinated campaign to discredit the impeachment investigation led by the House Intelligence Committee.
In effect, the Committee's impeachment report released today unmasked the Republicans' effort, including the panel's top GOP member, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, to use fake news stories to spread discredited conspiracy theories about then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former Vice President Joe Biden. Yovanovitch presented damning testimony during the Intelligence Committee hearings after being summarily fired by Trump.
The bottom line, though, is this: they were using fake news to support Trump, the real architect and original beneficiary of fake news.
We all are tired of hearing Trump incessantly complain about "fake news" -- any report that is critical or even unfavorable to him. But in this case, as he and his cohorts have done so often, they used the very tactic about which they complain for their own advantage. To do that, Trump's errand boys worked with conservative "journalist" John Solomon of The Hill throughout 2019 to spread those Trump-backed conspiracies, according to this CNN report.
(The word "journalist" is in quotes because any reporter who would sell his soul in that manner is not a "journalist." He is a traitor to the profession.)
Meanwhile, House Democrats say they have the phone records to prove it.
"Mr. Solomon was not working alone," the Intelligence Committee's report said. "As further described below, there was a coordinated effort by associates of President Trump to push these false narratives publicly, as evidenced by public statements, phone records, and contractual agreements."
As CNN reported, many of these calls occurred in April, the same time Solomon pumped out columns in The Hill that were filled with discredited conspiracy theories about then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son was on the board of a prominent Ukrainian energy company.
The Democratic report identifies at least four phone calls or attempted calls between Parnas and Nunes, including one call on April 12 that lasted longer than eight minutes. Within an hour of that call, Parnas also spoke with Giuliani, who later connected with Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow and a "White House phone number," according to the phone records.
The call logs show the extent the Democratic investigators went to get hands on any evidence it could get, even as the administration blocked access to records. The records were not discussed publicly before the release of the report.
All of this just illustrates what a duplicitous schemer is Nunes, who was up to his neck in the conspiracy to protect Trump and dig up dirt on the Bidens for more than a year.
The Daily Beast previously reported that Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Nunes in 2018, according to Parnas’ lawyer, Ed MacMahon.
Nunes aide Derek Harvey participated in the meetings which were arranged to help Nunes’ investigative work, said MacMahon. Harvey is a retired US Army Colonel and former National Security Council (NSC) staffer in Trump's administration.
During his news conference today, Schiff said it appears possible that "some members of Congress may be complicit" in the Ukraine affair. He apparently was referring to Nunes.
Oh, Those Phone Calls
Once again, it looks like phone calls are about to bite Trump in the behind.
It was that "perfect" call with Ukrainian President Zelensky that led to the impeachment inquiry in the first place.
Then it was that overheard phone call between Trump and his EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in which Trump was heard asking if Zelensky was going to run the anti-Biden investigation that he demanded.
Now, it's phone calls between Trump's Congressional pals, his attorneys, and Parnas, who in October pleaded not guilty to funneling foreign money to US campaigns, that are likely to cause even more trouble for the president as the impeachment investigation unfolds.
And that's not fake news.