Devin Nunes Spent $57,000 on Flights to Europe to Allegedly Investigate Bidens as Ethics Complaint Filed Over 'Abuse' of Office

Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican member on the House Intelligence Committee, spent nearly $57,000 on a trip to Europe for him and his staff to allegedly investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, records show.

The figures seem to confirm allegations made by Lev Parnas—a Ukrainian-born American who worked as a "fixer" for Rudy Giuliani before being indicted on criminal charges—who said that he helped Nunes arrange meetings with various Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on Biden.

Parnas said he met Nunes in a secretive trip to Vienna, Austria, between November and December 2018, and put him in touch with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin—the lawyer who was ousted from his position in 2016 after pressure from Western leaders, including Biden, who said he was not doing enough to combat corruption.

Reports filed with the Office of the Clerk for the House of Representatives show that Nunes claimed expenses for a four-day trip to Europe at the time in question between November 30 and December 3. Four entries for "commercial airfare" were claimed for Scott Glabe, George Pappas, Derek Harvey and Nunes himself.

Each claimed $14,201.43 for their visit—which included daily allowances—and came to a total of $56,805.72.

Nunes seemed to deny Parnas' allegations in an interview with Breitbart on Friday, although he did not mention Parnas or a trip to Europe in his comments directly. He did however threaten to sue media publications who published "these demonstrably false and scandalous stories."

If the allegations are correct, they could have deeply embarrassing and damaging repercussions as the committee Nunes sits on is the one investigating President Donald Trump in the Democrats' current push for impeachment.

Rep. Devin Nunes
Devin Nunes (R-CA) during aHouse Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 20, 2019. He now faces a "likely" ethics investigation. Getty

They accuse Trump and his associates of allegedly attempting to enlist a foreign government to dig up dirt on a domestic political opponent, while Congressionally approved aid was withheld until the request was met—in essence, bribery.

Nunes, who has been one of Trump's most strident defenders on the committee, repeatedly labelling the impeachment inquiry a "circus," should have recused himself from the proceedings if the allegations are true.

It has since been confirmed by the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, that Nunes will likely face an ethics investigation into the claims.

It follows a letter that was sent by the Democratic Coalition to the House Ethics Committee that raised the conflict of interest and called for an investigation.

"Rep. Nunes allegedly met foreign officials on an overseas Congressional delegation using taxpayer funds which appears to be related to obtaining materials solely for the purposes of domestic politics," the letter said.

"Rep. Nunes is currently engaged in overseeing an investigation which it appears he is a fact witness, and which may examine his own activities meeting with foreign officials.

"Rep. Nunes is aware of the actual conflict of interest from his relationships to persons under investigation by the House Intelligence Committee for the purposes of an impeachment inquiry upon which it must issue a report, but failed to either disclose his conflict of interest with the investigation or that he has firsthand knowledge of the persons of interest to the committee.

"This is a complaint against Rep. Nunes for abuse of his official office in violation of House rule XXIII."

Newsweek has contacted Nunes' office for comment.

Devin Nunes Spent $57,000 on Flights to Europe to Allegedly Investigate Bidens as Ethics Complaint Filed Over 'Abuse' of Office | U.S.