Warner Says White House Not Dispelling Suspicion
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 9:16
House committee chairman Devin Nunes announced he was canceling the meeting on March 24, days after the committee's first hearing in which FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the bureau was investigating President Donald Trump's associates' ties to Russian Federation.
A key House Democrat on Tuesday blamed the White House for preventing a former top Justice Department leader from testifying in public about the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russian election meddling.
The House and Senate intelligence committees and the FBI are investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and President Donald Trump's associates' ties with the Kremlin.
"It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a vigorous pushback on having her testify, among other things, about how long did [Trump] know Flynn had lied before he was willing to do anything about it?"
The White House has insisted the executive branch only learned about the meeting from "public reports", but press secretary Sean Spicer did not categorically deny that the information provided to Nunes originated in the White House.
Nunes, who has otherwise been tight-lipped about his source, told Bloomberg's Eli Lake on Monday that his source was an intelligence official, not a White House staffer.
However, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee signaled Tuesday that he would neither recuse himself nor resign and told CNN that the investigation "moves forward just like it was before". He described the source as an intelligence official, not a White House official.
Swalwell suggested that Nunes was working on behalf of the Trump administration to minimize the findings of the Intelligence Committee's probe.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House intelligence committee, is calling on Chairman Devin Nunes to step down from the panel.
Sen. John McCain says House intelligence chairman Rep. Devin Nunes must explain why he went to the White House alone to review intelligence critical to a bipartisan congressional investigation on Russian Federation.
When asked if the meeting creates a perception problem between Nunes and the White House, Spicer said Nunes was doing his job to investigate allegations of surveillance and was being upfront with journalists about his activities.
"If you become a White House whisperer, you are not independent", she said.
A Republican senator says the House intelligence chairman has "put his objectivity in question" when it comes to investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election.
Apparently, the root of the matter lies in Nunes' revelations regarding an illegal dissemination of "incidentally" collected intelligence on Donald Trump and his team. Much of the information in question is from the transition period.
The morning after Nunes' visit, he convened a press conference at the Capitol to tell reporters he had gotten information that partly verified Trump's earlier claim that Obama had, if not "wiretapped him", conducted some kind of surveillance.
The specter of possible Russian influence on the presidential election in Trump's favor has cast a shadow over the Republican president's first two months in office.
Nunes would not name the source of the information, nor would he disclose who invited him on the White House grounds for the meeting.
That kerfuffle, along with Nunes' decision to cancel this week's hearings, led Schiff to call for Nunes to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.
"Still, it appears that it wasn't the cancellation of the committee's hearings involving former acting attorney general Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers that prompted deep concerns within the Democratic camp".