White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

03 April, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Brittany Bishop
  • Marco Rubio in New Hampshire

House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes rebuffed calls to step aside from the Russian Federation investigation Tuesday as demands grew for him to recuse himself as head of that probe.

"This week to me has been an embarrassment".

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was "aware that former AG Yates meant to speak on these matters and sought permission to testify from the White House".

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff, as well as the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, have called on Nunes to recuse himself from the committee's Russian Federation probe.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said he would not ask for Nunes to recuse himself, and Nunes said the calls for recusal or removal from the committee were "politics".

The latest incident came Tuesday after the chairman cancelled a hearing that was supposed to include testimony from the former acting Attorney General Sally Yates who President Trump fired. It's as if the Intelligence Committee is proceeding with a bifurcated process: one investigation from the panel, and another from the panel's chair.

"If this was done the proper way, they could have brought it over, shared it with both parties of the committee", he added.

According to the committee's website, Tuesday's session has been postponed. "When you have a committee chairman that bypasses the committee and goes to the White House, when you have a president that has a cloud over their head, that's not smart".

"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. We do not know.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham and John McCain questioned Nunes' actions.

"He did the exact right thing from beginning to end and there really is a concerted effort out to undermine him", Rep. Peter King, a Republican from NY, told VOA.

"You know for an administration who started by saying that there had never been any contacts with Russian Federation, an administration where you had a candidate, now a president, who continues to compliment [Russian] President Putin.to have all of these actions sure doesn't do much to remove the cloud that is increasingly getting darker over this administration", Warner said. Graham said Nunes' story was "a little bizarre" and compared it to an "Inspector Clouseau investigation".

Last Tuesday evening, Nunes went to a secure National Security Council facility on the grounds of the White House and reviewed intelligence reports, with the assistance of one or more unknown officials.

Spicer said the White House does not believe executive privilege should be an issue in Yates testifying, which is why McGahn did not respond.

Jones was referring to Nunes' briefing of President Donald Trump on classified intelligence information.

Comey has said that there is no information to support Trump's allegation that Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower in NY.

Reporters also asked Nunes if the Trump administration sought to prevent Yates from testifying, to which he replied: "Look, you guys are just speculating".

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