Thursday, 27 April, 2017

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

Warren Dawson | 01 April, 2017, 02:07

Now listen to this: it turns out that Yates had been asked to appear before the House Intelligence Committee to testify in the planned March 28 open hearing on the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, but that hearing was unexpectedly canceled by Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) last week.

Chairman Nunes, who worked on the Trump transition team, went to the White House last week to view reports he claims shows intelligence agencies collected incidental information on Trump transition personnel.

That late-night excursion has led some Democrats to accuse Nunes of colluding with the White House on his announcement in an effort to vindicate Trump's claim that his presidential campaign was wiretapped by the Obama administration.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said he intends to withhold the source of a leaked classified report from fellow members of his own committee.

The Republican congressman's disclosure prompted the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, as well as the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, to call on Nunes to recuse himself from the committee's Russian Federation probe.

TRT World's Tetiana Anderson has more on the controversy from Washington DC.

"We are aware that former AG Yates meant to speak on these matters, and sought permission from the White House to testify", Rep.

Schiff said Nunes' connections to the White House have raised insurmountable public doubts about whether the committee can credibly investigate the president's campaign associates. Jones told reporters outside the House chamber, the Hill reports, adding: "You can't keep your credibility". While feeling the heat from his Democratic colleagues and some Republicans (who are demanding his recusal from the investigation into Russia-Trump ties), Nunes scrapped this week's House Intel meetings, and what now? "I think that's something that he had made very clear, and I'll let him answer it", Spicer said.

"I believe chairman [Nunes] should recuse himself from involvement in investigation/oversight of Trump campaign & transition", Schiff said in a statement Monday. "To suggest in any way, shape or form that we stood in the way of that is 100 percent false".

Donald Trump, Jr. unleashes Twitter storm with London attack comment
At the time , he said "The terrorists are evolving their tactics and we have got to evolve our response to them all the time . MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting , hit out at Trump Jr for exploiting the London terrorist attack to criticize the mayor.

Asked Tuesday if he should recuse himself, committee chairman Devin Nunes responded, "Why would I?"

Pressed by reporters as to how Mr Nunes had obtained clearance to enter the White House Mr Spicer said he had no new information regarding the meeting between the Republican congressman and the source.

The CBC also demanded an independent special commission to carry out the Russian Federation probe, arguing that the standing intelligence panels in the House and the Senate can not carry out the investigation.

And Sen. John McCain said Nunes must explain why he went to the White House alone to review the critical intelligence.

Democrats contend Nunes' loyalty to Trump is greater than his commitment to leading an independent investigation.

Nunes on Wednesday said, "We're beginning to figure out who's actually serious about the investigation". The FBI has been investigating the matter since last summer, bureau director James Comey confirmed to the panel last week.

The New York Times reported Thursday that two White House officials played a role in providing Nunes the intelligence he received at the White House last week, a report Spicer would neither confirm nor deny Thursday.

Nunes has declined to name the person he met with at the White House complex, but told Bloomberg that it was a member of the intelligence community, not a White House staffer.

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