losangelesnewstoday.com April 24, 2018

Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down

07 April 2017, 03:24 | Dawn Berry

U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes

House intel chair under pressure to recuse self from Russia investigation over White House visit

"The intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in our elections - paired with mounting evidence of connections between the Trump administration and Putin's government - demands a thorough and nonpartisan investigation", said Takano, who serves on House committees pertaining to education and the workforce, space, science and technology and veterans affairs.

The development has increased partisan tension over the neutrality of the House panel's Russian Federation investigation amid concerns about Republican chairman Rep. Devin Nunes' independence from the White House.

Warner addressed Nunes' recent actions on Tuesday, telling reporters that "none of us, Democrat or Republican, on the Senate Intelligence Committee still has any idea what he's talking about" and that "these kind of actions aren't making our investigation easier".

"The public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman", Schiff said.

A spokesman for Nunes denied that the chairman had communicated with the White House about Yates's testimony.

Critics said the announcement was an effort to justify Trump's unfounded accusations on Twitter on March 4 that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had directed surveillance on Trump Tower during the campaign. He had traveled to White House grounds the day before to obtain the documents from an intelligence source, he said.

The report about Yates has compounded speculation that the White House is trying to interfere in the House Intelligence Committee's Russian Federation probe.

Mr Nunes, who has given no explanation for cancelling the hearing, was already facing calls to step down from leading his committee's inquiry. He could have been outing sources within the White House. Tuesday, the lawmaker said there is not need to recuse himself from the investigative proceedings.

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Nunes insisted the House investigation would proceed normally, yet canceled all of the committee's meetings slated for this week when former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates said she would publicly testify.

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.

"I hope she testifies".

Yet another controversy swirling around the Nunes committee investigation emerged just today.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own probe into the Russian meddling in last year's US election, will meet in a closed session and its two leaders, Sen. "There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee". "I look forward to it", Spicer told reporters during his daily briefing.

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

"I've been around for quite a while, and I've never heard of any such thing", said McCain. It is very unusual for a committee chairman and ranking member not to coordinate meetings related to an investigation.

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