The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee sharply criticized the panel’s chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) after he released records of cellphone calls as part of an impeachment report.
“The Democrats’ impeachment charade is flailing, and desperate people do desperate things,” ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said in a statement.
“So Schiff suddenly published phone records of myself, current and former Republican staff members, and a journalist whose reporting he doesn’t like,” Nunes added.
“It’s a gross abuse of power for a congressman to go after his political opponents, staffers, and reporters in this way, but it’s characteristic of the way Schiff has run this entire show. He’s going to need a long rehabilitation period when this is over,” he said.
During the course of Schiff’s impeachment investigation he obtained call records of Nunes, GOP committee staffers, two of President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys, and investigative journalist John Solomon, the impeachment report, released Dec. 3, noted.
Democrats disclosed the details of the calls, including the time of day and duration of each conversation, in the 300-page report.
The action drew staunch criticism from Republicans because communications between clients and attorneys, as well as journalists, are considered private.
That is especially true of Nunes, who — as co-chair of the House Intelligence Committee — he holds a very high security clearance.
The report shows scores of call records in the April 10–24 timeframe, including calls between one of the president’s personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, and Nunes.
The records also show several conversations between Solomon and Lev Parnas, an associate of Giuliani.
Parnas also dialed Nunes and Giuliani, the records show. The logs also feature calls between Giuliani and the White House, among others.
“The mere fact I had numerous calls with the White House does not establish any specific topic,” Giuliani wrote on Twitter on Dec. 4. “Remember, I’m the President’s attorney.”
“They’ve already taken away [the president’s] right to call witnesses, cross-examine, confront his accusers, or be represented by counsel at hearings. Now he can’t talk to his counsel on the telephone?” Giuliani said. “This is CNN’s version of America? Coming to a theatre near you!”
It’s not clear yet how Schiff obtained the phone records.
Parnas and his associate, Igor Fruman, were indicted by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York earlier this year for an alleged scheme to route foreign money to the U.S. elections.
It is believed that federal investigators looking into the case most likely managed to obtain Parnas’s call logs.