Social media last night and today have been flooded with inflammatory and quite dramatic claims now being made by congressional Republicans about a four-page memo alleging abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spying processes during the 2016 election. This memo, which remains secret, was reportedly written under the direction of the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes.
Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced on Thursday he would step aside from leading his committee’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s presidential election. Mr. Nunes, the Intelligence Committee chairman, said his decision came after “left-wing activist groups” filed accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, as Democrats accused him of stalling the inquiry by canceling the committee’s meetings.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is staying mum. On Tuesday, he said he would “never” comply with requests to disclose the source of his allegations that communications involving the Trump transition team were “incidentally” collected by U.S. intelligence agencies. “Will you share your sources?” an ABC reporter who confronted Nunes in a Capitol Hill hallway asked. “We will never reveal sources,” he replied. “Even to the other members of the committee?” “Nope,” he said. “Never.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is embroiled in yet another controversy. A new report from the Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous says that Trump administration officials wouldn’t approve former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s planned testimony before the committee on certain topics, claiming they were “likely covered by the presidential communications privilege.”
The evidence is now clear that the White House and Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have worked together to halt what was previously billed as a sweeping investigation of Russian interference in last year’s election. “We’ve been frozen,” Jim Himes, a Democratic representative from Connecticut who is a member of the Committee, said.