Devin Nunes Should Recuse: The Russian Winery Connection
Russian intelligence expert Zarina Zabrisky on yet another Russian connection of the Republican Congressman defending President Trump against his Russian connections.
According to the Daily Beast, the indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for the Republican Congressman Devin Nunes in 2018. But, there is another reason why Nunes should recuse himself from the Impeachment Investigation.
Congressman Devin Nunes joined Donald Trump’s team as early as three days after the 2016 Presidential Election. On 11 November 2016, Nunes was appointed to the executive committee of Trump’s transition team, along with Trump’s three children, Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The 16-member executive committee was set up “to advise President-elect Trump on the appointments of his Cabinet members and on appointments to other top positions in the new administration,” according to Nunes’ own statement.
However, the President-elect and the Republican Congressman already had a business connection.
The Alpha Omega Winery Affair
Both Nunes and Trump have investments in wineries.
Nunes’ main investment is Alpha Omega Winery, to the value of $50,001 as of March 2018. The company was embroiled in a scandal in 2016 when a former employee alleged in a lawsuit that 25 of the Napa Valley-based winery’s top investors were openly using what appeared to be cocaine and “drawing straws” for which sex worker to hire.
According to a report in Town and Country magazine, Alpha Omega Winery shared a consultant with another winery owned by Donald Trump.
Michel Rolland – a “rock star winemaking consultant” – helped open Alpha Omega in 2006 and had been working with the winery’s general manager since 2001. At the same time, he was a consultant for the Trump-owned winery, the Kluge Estate Winery.
Alpha Omega Winery had a major Russian distributor of alcoholic beverages: Luding Ltd group. All mentions of Luding Ltd were quickly removed from Alpha Omega’s website after this fact was revealed by the press.
Alpha Omega’s account on Twitter claimed that it had only sold 22 cases of wine to Russia in 2013.
However, Luding’s website still listed Alpha Omega’s Cabernet Sauvignon red dry, in English and Russian.
Luding itself has a close relationship with the Kremlin.
It has been granted a license to use the ‘Kremlin’ brand; from the Presidential Property Management Department of the Russian Federation. Products under the brand are used at official events at the nation’s capital.
On 14 December 2010, Luding signed a licence agreement to launch the ‘Kremlin Award’ cognac with the “Kremlevsky” trading company owned by the Office of the President of Russia.
Kremlevsk registered six brands of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages under the Kremlin brand on 14 December 2010. Four days prior to this deal, on 10 December 2010, a Luding’s executive was shot in his car in Moscow.
Luding has a long relationship with the Administrative Services of the President of the Russian Federation. The Luding management was awarded the order of ‘The Star of Fatherland’ by the First Deputy Chief of Administrative Services of the President of the Russian Federation, and representatives of the Administration of the President.