Key House Democrats are calling on Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, widening a stunning partisan split over the probe.
"The Chair of the House Intelligence has a serious responsibility to the Congress and to the country," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement to CNN Monday evening. "Chairman Nunes' discredited behavior has tarnished that office. (House) Speaker (Paul) Ryan must insist that Chairman Nunes at least recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation immediately. That leadership is long overdue."
Her request came a little more than an hour after Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, requested Nunes' recusal.
"We've reached the point, after the events of this week, where it would be very difficult to maintain the credibility of the investigation if the chairman did not recuse himself from matters involving either the Trump campaign or the Trump transition team of which he was a member," Schiff told CNN on Monday.
Rep. Jackie Speier, also on the Intelligence Committee, said this:
"Through his bizarre and partisan actions over the last week, Chairman Nunes has demonstrated to the entire nation why he is unfit to lead our critical investigation into ties between President Trump's administration and Moscow," she said.
And Eric Swalwell, another member of the committee, added this as well:
In the Senate, chairman Richard Burr has sometimes appeared to be working as a part-time committee leader and part-time publicist for the White House, batting away reported Trump-Russia connections at the behest of the White House. In the House, our chairman and Trump transition team member Devin Nunes seems to be running his own intelligence service, receiving classified information regarding our investigation and exclusively briefing it to the president. And now he has cancelled Tuesday’s open hearing – where witnesses had already submitted testimony to the committee – proposing instead to have future hearings conducted in secret.
The Democrats usually have very little power to effect change over who will head these investigations, but if they keep applying pressure, and rally the people to call their Representatives to express no confidence in the ability of Nunes to lead this investigation, Paul Ryan may decide that he has no choice.
Like Dick Cheney said, what Russia did was an act of war, and we need Congress to treat it as such. And punish those who worked in collusion with them.