Schiff: GOP Intel Chair Nunes Should Recuse Himself From Russia Probe
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 8:27
He said the evidence showed that the intelligence community had incidentally collected information on President Donald Trump's transition team, and possibly Trump himself, during the postelection transition period.
Spokesman Sean Spicer says the White House did not try to block Yates' testimony.
Spicer on Tuesday said the White House never sought to stop her. "There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee". There's also an ongoing feud over a decision by Nunes to cancel a series of hearings on the issue.
On a day when the House Intelligence Committee was supposed to be questioning former Obama administration officials about Russian interference in the 2016 election, partisan warfare instead consumed the panel and intensified doubts about its ability to investigate the Kremlin campaign. "The report in the Washington Post is 100 percent false".
Those flames aren't going to die down anytime soon, as we now know from Washington Post reporting that Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was scheduled to testify at the hearing for today that Rep. Nunes canceled. Michael Rogers of the National Security Agency.
Given that the source was not someone employed by the White House, it is possible that an additional person was involved in securing Nunes' access to the grounds and to a SCIF.
The hearing would have been another public airing of the infighting within the committee.
Democrats on Monday called on Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation after he acknowledged he went to the White House complex to review intelligence reports and meet a secret source.
Graham also stated that he thinks Nunes' conduct is "a little weird". He dismissed those comments as "a lot of politics". Schiff asked, adding the source of Nunes' information "does not sound like a whistle blower".
The second-ranking House Democrat said that embattled Rep. Devin Nunes should not just recuse himself from the intelligence committee's investigation into Russian Federation, but resign from the committee altogether.
However, a source at the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the reason Comey couldn't make the hearing was because he was never invited.
Nunes said last Wednesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not said whether it would respond to the committee's March 15 letter. Democrats say they should have been invited and briefed on the same specifics.
The Senate committee also announced Monday it will hear testimony from Jared Kushner, a senior advisor and the son-in-law of Trump, about his meeting during the transition with the top executive of a Russian bank on which the USA had slapped sanctions. He said: "Something's got to change, otherwise the whole effort in the House of Representatives will lose credibility".
"The problem that he's created is he's gone off on a lark by himself, sort of an Inspector Clouseau investigation here", Graham said, comparing the chairman's performance to Peter Sellers' iconic detective rom the "Pink Panther" movies. So far, Nunes has refused.
Other Republicans - particularly those on the Senate side - are less reluctant to question Nunes' actions, however. She said his actions raise questions about whether the panel's investigation can be unbiased and independent.
"Devin Nunes is in way over his head", O'Donnell said. "If Adam had ever seen my apartment, he would know there was not enough room to fit the whole committee in there", he said. USA intelligence agencies supposedly collected incidental surveillance of conversations between Trump campaign officials and foreign individuals who were legally being monitored.
The following day, Scott Schools, a senior Justice Department lawyer, replied in a letter to O'Neil, saying the Yates conversations with the White House "are likely covered by the presidential communications privilege and possibly the deliberative process privilege".