March 27, 2017

The ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee has called on Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation surrounding Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

Rep. Adam Schiff’s call comes revelations that he held a meeting on White House grounds before his controversial announcement that intelligence had been incidentally collected on members of the Trump transition team.

“I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the President’s campaign or transition tram can be objectively investigated or overseen by the Chairman,” Schiff said in a statement Monday evening, noting that Attorney General Sessions had recused himself after failing to disclose he had met with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing.”

“This is not a recommendation I make lightly, as the Chairman and I have worked together well for several years,” he said,

Schiff’s statement is the culmination of nearly a week of public tension between the two top-ranked members of the intelligence community, beginning with Nunes’ announcement that the intelligence community collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition team. Nunes, a Republican, bypassed the committee, including Schiff, and told the press and the White House that he had received the information.

Nunes confirmed Monday that the meeting where he had obtained that information was held on White House grounds and that he viewed it there because they hadn’t been provided to Congress yet.

“I had been working on this for a long time with many different sources and needed a place that I could actually finally go because I knew what I was looking for and I could get access to what I needed to see,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Schiff also said in his statement that members of the intelligence committee still had not seen the documents Nunes had briefed the press and the White House on last week.

 

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