Nunes rejects calls to remove self from Russia-Trump investigation

Nunes, a California Republican, made the comments after numerous top Democrats - including Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking member, as well as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - called for Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation. Nunes concluded saying to the Fox News reporter, "I would encourage you guys to go and start to follow them around and figure out who they want to bring in and interview".

A Democrat on House Intelligence Committee says Chairman Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) late-night trip to see classified documents at the White House was "very irregular".

The White House tried to block a top lawyer sacked by Trump from testifying in Congress about his campaign's ties to Russian Federation, the Washington Post reports. In response, Yates' attorney argued that the White House had already waived its privilege on this matter and that she would not discuss any now classified information.

And on Friday, Nunes cancelled all of this week's scheduled committee meetings, including a public hearing for the testimony of former Obama administration intelligence director James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. The Washington Post reported she was blocked from testifying at a hearing originally expected for Tuesday because the topics she meant to discuss were covered by what's known as executive privilege.

Unfortunately for Nunes, it is no longer just the Democrats' problem.

Critics slammed Nunes for going to President Trump before briefing members of the intelligence committee.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Wednesday he did not have an answer as to who signed Nunes into the White House and that he did not personally know the source of his information.

Swalwell also raised questions as to why Nunes hasn't wanted to share his source behind surveillance claims. He highlighted numerous incidents in the past month in which there was coordination between the White House and Nunes, including on the issue of incidental collection of communications.

Yates served as acting attorney general in the early days of the Trump administration until Trump controversially fired her after she refused to defend his first immigration executive order that attempted to institute a travel ban on citizens traveling to the USA from seven Muslim-majority countries, which was later shot down by the courts.

Asked whether the investigation will continue with him as chairman, Nunes replied, "Why would it not?" "But our job is to do everything in our power to be responsible to go forward and be constructive and that's what we're doing".

The panel will hold its first public hearing Thursday.

  • Leroy Wright