Rep. Devin Nunes at a congressional hearing Thursday berated Democrats for pursuing impeachment of President Donald Trump in a “public spectacle” and alleged that some of them have sought out nude pictures of Trump.
Nunes, R-Tulare, did not identify who he believes attempted to obtain nude photos of the president.
He spoke at a House Intelligence Committee hearing where Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire was called to answer questions about a whistleblower complaint that alleges Trump sought to pressure the Ukrainian government for his own political gain.
“Democrats on this very committee negotiated with people who they thought were Ukrainians in order to obtain nude pictures of Trump,” Nunes said. “People can reasonably ask why the Democrats are so determined to impeach this president when in just a year, they will have a chance.”
Nunes also said a Senate Democrat pressured the Ukrainian president to squash investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son. He didn’t name which Senate Democrat had done that, either.
The complaint centers on Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, putting pressure on the president and other government officials of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Biden had pushed for the ouster of a former prosecutor in Ukraine when he was vice president, saying along with other Western countries that the prosecutor was too soft on corruption.
Trump has alleged that Biden actually pushed for the ouster of the prosecutor to protect his son’s business interests in Ukraine.
A White House summary of a July phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump asked the Ukrainian president to help with the investigation against Biden. Trump also talks about U.S. aid to Ukraine during the call. The whistleblower complaint said a week before the call, the president directed government agencies to “suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine” without explanation.
The whistleblower heard about issues in the complaint secondhand, and though the Inspector General said the claims within it were “credible,” it’s unclear how much the claims have been investigated. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, announced on Tuesday that the House will launch an impeachment inquiry over the allegations.
The House Intelligence Committee had a public hearing Thursday morning with Maguire, questioning his decisions related to the whistleblower complaint. A redacted version of the complaint was released by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, at the beginning of the hearing.
Nunes’ allegation that Democrats sought nude photos of Trump is likely related to claims contained in the so-called dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele as opposition research against Trump for the 2016 presidential election.
The report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by Robert Mueller did not include any evidence that the salacious claims against Trump in the dossier were true.
Nunes’ office did not immediately respond when asked to clarify who Nunes was talking about, on either the claims on a Democrat trying to quash investigations into Biden or seeking out nude photos.
Nunes is suing Fusion GPS, the political research firm that was responsible for hiring Steele to put together the dossier. It’s one of four lawsuits Nunes filed this year alleging that adversaries conspired against him in 2018.
Nunes in the Fusion GPS case alleges the firm and progressive group Campaign for Accountability engaged in a “joint and systematic effort to intimidate, harass, threaten, influence, interfere with, impede, and ultimately to derail” Nunes while he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes and other Trump allies have claimed there is a “deep state” within the intelligence community that is actively working to undermine Trump.