California Rep. Devin Nunes predicts that Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is coming to an end after reports emerged that as vice president he had sought to shield his son from an investigation by a Ukrainian prosecutor.
Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, also said an attempt by Democrats to portray President Trump’s alleged actions in Ukraine as a scandal has backfired.
“These stories [about Biden] first originated back when Hillary Clinton was trying to make sure Biden didn’t get in the race” for the nomination in 2016, Nunes said. “Whoever came up with this scheme — it looks like somebody was trying to deflect what Biden did back in 2015. This scheme seems to have backfired on Biden. I mean, Biden’s already dropping in the polls.
“And, like I said, it looks like this is the end of Biden’s campaign. I really do… his lead is basically down to zero.”
The latest Des Moines Register/CNN poll shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren pulling ahead of Biden, leading 22% to 20%. Just weeks ago, Biden held a 9-point lead.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that in a July 25 phone call, Trump allegedly urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “about eight times” to cooperate with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on an investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter, who worked with a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Biden in 2016, meanwhile, reportedly called for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been investigating allegations about Hunter. At the time, Hunter Biden held a directorship with the company, earning $50,000 a month. There are also allegations that as vice president Biden threatened to withhold U.S. aid unless the prosecutor was fired.
A whistleblower last week called into question Trump’s interaction with Zelensky, but Trump said that unnamed official has caused a “false alarm.”
“This whistleblower or whoever it was — because it sounds like it’s not a whistleblower — you can’t have that happen to a president of the United States,” Trump said in comments Sunday before his departure for campaign stops in Texas and Ohio. “The conversation, by the way, was absolutely perfect. It was a beautiful, warm, nice conversation.”
Later in the day, Trump wrote on Twitter: “Breaking News: The Ukrainian Government just said they weren’t pressured at all during the ‘nice’ call. Sleepy Joe Biden, on the other hand, forced a tough prosecutor out from investigating his son’s company by threat of not giving big dollars to Ukraine. That’s the real story!”
Nunes, speaking to Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, said the whistleblower scandal has all the same elements as the so-called Russia collusion story, which evaporated after a two-year, $40 million investigation.
“This has all the hallmarks of the Russia hoax,” Nunes said. “Something leaks out. … and then it’s the same reporters that report on it, the same reporters that reported on the Russia hoax. Then you move forward, and what happens? Then supposedly they come and testify — and the night before they testify, the whistleblower who supposedly doesn’t want anybody to know who this person is, or what information they have, well, it’s spilled all over the pages of the Washington Post” the day before Congress was briefed on the matter.