Trump and team WERE under government surveillance

Nunes and Schiff had pointed to their predecessors-Republican Mike Rogers of MI and Democrat C.A.

Mr Nunes said he called off the meeting to have more time to refer with Mr Comey and the National Security Director Michael Rogers. Three people who had key roles in Trump's campaign now say they're willing to testify before the committee.

"I think we need to have a conversation in committee with all the members, and the chairman and I need to hash this out, because this undermines our efforts", Schiff said. "The point was to cancel a public hearing".

Possible Russian connection are also being investigated by other congressional committees behind closed doors.

Trump, you'll remember, has accused former President Barack Obama of "wiretapping" him during the election - a stunning claim, presented without evidence, that has been rejected as baseless by prominent lawmakers and the heads of multiple intelligence agencies. "I don't think Mr. Schiff even knows today what those documents are".

Schiff went one step further, charging that recent developments all pointed back to the current White House. He characterized the way in which Nunes, and no one else on the committee, had gained access to the documents as a "dead of night" trip - he didn't say to where - to view the documents.

"These reports that I've read are, for the most part, valuable intelligence", Nunes said. He called the cancellation of the hearing with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan "a dodge".

Rep. Nunes was was heavily criticized by the other members of the committee for not sharing the information with them, and for not revealing the source of the information. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, argued that it was instead necessary to hear closed-door testimony from the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency.

But Wednesday, Schiff said he was caught off guard, and expressed alarm that Nunes briefed the speaker and Trump before contacting any other committee members. In a statement, Nunes' spokesman, Jack Langer, said the congressman is "extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of United States citizens".

But Nunes defended his move as necessary to let Comey and Rogers answer questions that they'd declined to respond to in public on Monday.

That's not what we saw in Monday's rare open Intelligence Committee hearing.

For weeks the New York Times and Washington Post had been headlining the fact that there were unknown people inside the Obama administration who were leaking classified information about various named and unnamed "Trump associates" and alleged ties to Russian Federation.

Nunes' disclosure that Trump's own communications may have been picked up in "incidental" collections by domestic spies - and decision to speak to the press and White House before informing the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee - infuriated Democrats and led him to apologize to his colleagues on the panel.

Nunes didn't tell the rest of the committee about his findings.

  • Zachary Reyes