Phone records revealed in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry report issued on Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee show links between Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the committee’s top Republican Devin Nunes, a journalist for The Hill who authored numerous articles blaming Ukraine for attacking the 2016 election, and the White House. The records may show calls to Giuliani from Trump himself that could pertain to Ukraine.
Those calls came from a person identified in phone records only as “-1,” the name used by Giuliani’s own caller ID. Making the observation via Twitter, former Senate Judiciary Committee counsel Eric Columbus noted that in the report, calls to Giuliani from “-1” are followed shortly thereafter by calls from Trump to media outlets, in which Trump discussed Ukraine.
In one of those calls documented in the House Intelligence Committee report, Trump spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity about an article published in The Hill by conservative journalist John Solomon.
That Solomon article published on April 25 contained what the report calls “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories” making the claim that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
After speaking to “-1,” Giuliani then spoke briefly with Hannity, the phone records cited in the report show. That evening, Trump spoke on the air to Hannity and appeared excited about the Solomon article, calling it “big, big stuff.”
But the call records also show that Solomon spoke on numerous occasions to Lev Parnas, the Giuliani associate who was arrested in October and indicted on a variety of charges, including illegally funneling money from a Russian businessman to a pro-Trump SuperPac.
According to a report published by The Daily Beast, the phone records show “extensive communications” among Parnas, Giuliani, Solomon — and California House Rep Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican member of the intelligence committee.
On April 10, the records show, Nunes exchanged three phone calls with Giuliani, as well as two with Parnas just two days later. Those calls came after what The Daily Beast called “a long series of communications” between Parnas and Solomon. On April 1, Solomon had published an earlier column alleging that the government of Ukraine attempted to stop Trump’s 2016 candidacy.
The Solomon column also alleged that Democratic candidate and former U.S. vice president, Joe Biden “corruptly” attempted to stop an investigation into the Ukrainian gas company that employed his son, Hunter Biden.
After more than a dozen phone calls with Parnas, according to the records, Solomon published another column repeating the unsubstantiated allegations against Biden.
Parnas, though his lawyer, has recently claimed to possess text messages showing that Nunes met with ousted Ukrainian top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Biden had spearheaded an international campaign to dismiss Shokin due to corruption. Nunes met with Shokin to gather “dirt” on Biden, according to Parnas.
Nunes has denied that he met with Shokin. The House Intelligence Committee report describes Shokin as “a known associate of Mr. Giuliani.”