House Intel Chairman Rejects Calls to Recuse Self From Russia Probe
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 18:24
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes suggested Wednesday that Democrats are not serious about the ongoing investigation into Russia's involvement in the election.
"Are you going to stay as chairman of this investigation", a reporter asks Nunes on Tuesday. "I've said it from the day that I got here: There is no connection [between the administration and Russia]".
Nunes, who was a member of the Trump transition team, came under fire for meeting a source on White House grounds the day before he delivered an unexpected briefing to President Trump about his concerns about the "incidental" collection and potential "unmasking" of Americans within the intelligence community. The typically bipartisan panel has been torn by disputes over Nunes' ties to President Donald's Trump's campaign and questions about whether he can lead a probe independent of White House influence.
"I think the only way this can be repaired is if he tells his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee who he met with and what he saw", Graham said. This time, it's thanks to a new report, which claims that Trump didn't want Yates to testify before Congress about unconfirmed allegations members of his team had colluded with Russian Federation.
The canceled hearing is just the latest incident to raise questions about Nunes' handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.
CBS News obtained a letter from the Trump Justice Department to Yates' attorney warning that there was a limit to what she could reveal in her testimony and that "she needs to consult with the White House". When asked about whether his clandestine meeting on White House grounds was legitimate, Nunes said that everything was above-board, that he wasn't sneaking around, and that multiple people were aware that he was lurking in the West Wing.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Trump administration had done nothing to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates appearing before the House Intelligence Committee's ongoing investigation.
Schiff on Monday called for Nunes to recuse himself from "any investigation" into the president's campaign and transition team.
"This is done because the White House wanted it to be done".
He said that Mr Nunes visit was unnecessary because he could have reviewed the same classified materials at the Capitol building.
In a tweet, the California Democrat questioned what the "holdup" was after the White House denied reports Tuesday that it tried to stop Yates from testifying.
"There is no letter from the White House because Yates attorney's letter clearly states a non-response will be seen as the White House not asserting executive privilege", the official said. "And you'll find out that we are very much doing an investigation and have been for a long time".