Federal Bureau of Investigation 'directly contradicts' Nunes' statements about Comey and House Russia hearings

Walter Jones on Tuesday became the first congressional Republican to call for fellow party member Rep. Devin Nunes to step aside from leading the House Intelligence Committee's probe into alleged ties between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's successful presidential campaign.

President Trump is calling the investigations of his campaign's ties with Russian Federation a "hoax" - even though his national security adviser and his campaign chairman were fired over it. Trump fired Yates during the first weeks of his administration when she refused to mount a defense of the president's legally doomed travel ban targeting 7 Muslim nations.

The Washington Post newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Trump administration had attempted to block the testimony of Yates, an Obama appointee who resigned in a public dispute with Trump in January.

They're calling on Nunes to recuse himself from this investigation or for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to remove him entirely as chair.

Nunes' visit to the White House has only clouded the already complicated inquiry.

"We're not going to start answering questions like that kinda stuff", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. He could have been outing sources within the White House.

Despite this barrage of news surrounding his relationship with the White House, Nunes says he will remain at the helm of the House Intelligence Committee. "Rep. Nunes appears to be in collusion with Trump to protect him from the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian Federation".

Nunes argued he had to review classified, executive branch documents from a secure facility at the White House because the reports had not been provided to Congress and could not be transported to the secure facilities used by the House intelligence committee. Such a statement, however tepid, does no favors for Rep. Nunes and only fans the flames on what's providing to be a heated week for the committee chairman.

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email on Tuesday, "Speaker Ryan has full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair, and credible investigation".

Schiff of California called on Monday for Nunes to recuse himself from "any investigation" into Trump's campaign and transition team.

"Look, if I really wanted to, I could have snuck onto the grounds late at night and probably nobody would have seen me", Nunes told CNN.

"The White House did not respond and took no action that prevented Ms. Yates from testifying", Spicer said at a White House press briefing.

"A lot of [lawmakers] have said that we don't need an independent commission because we're doing the work in the House committee, on the Intelligence Committee, and so that's always been the out for not having an independent commission", Swalwell said.

Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have become known as the two GOP members most willing to openly criticize the Trump administration, didn't ask for his recusal but did insist that he should reveal his surveillance source.

The row comes as the House continues to investigate claims that the Kremlin had sought to interfere with the U.S. election to help Mr Trump's campaign.

In addition to the cancellation of Tuesday's hearing, the scrutiny of Nunes centers on his decision last week to go public with information from what he has described as an intelligence community source describing incidental surveillance on Trump campaign operatives during the election.

  • Arturo Norris