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Nunes dodges key question, faces possible ethics investigation

Devin Nunes has had a rough couple of years. That doesn't mean things can't get worse for the conspiracy-minded congressman and Trump loyalist.
Image:  US House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes
epa06760658 US House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes speaks on a cell phone while walking to the House chamber before a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington,...

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has had a rough couple of years, which many observers have noted has done significant harm to his reputation and credibility. That doesn't mean things can't get worse for the conspiracy-minded congressman and Donald Trump loyalist.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Sunday dodged questions about reports he met with Ukraine's former top prosecutor in an effort to investigate the Bidens citing his threats to sue the media outlets that uncovered the allegations."I really want to answer all these questions, and I promise you I absolutely will come back on the show and answer these questions," Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures." "But, because there is criminal activity here, we're working with the appropriate law enforcement agencies; we're going to file this, and everyone's going to know the truth, everybody's going to know all the facts."

This latest round of trouble for Nunes began in earnest a few days ago. Joseph A. Bondy, an attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, raised a provocative allegation: Bondy told NBC News, among other outlets, that his client was willing to testify that Devin Nunes met with Viktor Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor, about investigating the Bidens.

That claim has not been independently confirmed, but it raises the possibility of Nunes participating in an investigation into Team Trump's Ukraine scheme -- a gambit in which the White House is accused of extorting a foreign ally in hopes of getting dirt on a domestic political rival -- despite Nunes allegedly having been a part of a related Ukraine scheme of his own.

And when asked about this yesterday, the California Republican said he did not want to talk about it, at least not yet.

For additional context, it's worth emphasizing that during his Fox News interview yesterday, Nunes went on to describe the allegations as "slanderous," adding that he believes the facts are on his side. The litigious Republican -- Nunes recently sued a fake cow Twitter account, among others -- added that he and his lawyers are "going to file in federal court."

It wasn't immediately clear exactly whom the GOP lawmaker intends to sue, though I think he was referring to CNN, which ran its story about Bondy and Parnas on Friday.

It's difficult to say with confidence where this story is headed, but House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) told MSNBC's Joy Reid over the weekend that he believes an ethics investigation into Nunes is "quite likely."

Smith added, "Without question."