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

Jon Howard
April 4, 2017

Rep. Nunes (R-Calif.), who served on Trump's transition team, has openly acknowledged that he met with a source and reviewed this intelligence on the White House grounds the day before the press conference.

"I believe chairman [Nunes] should recuse himself from involvement in investigation/oversight of Trump campaign & transition", Schiff said in a statement Monday.

The reports, Mr Nunes said earlier last week, showed Mr Trump or his closest associates may have been "incidentally" swept up in foreign surveillance by U.S. spy agencies.

Asked by reporters if he would continue to lead the investigation on Tuesday morning, Nunes responded: "Why would I not?"

Critics say his disclosure was an effort to justify Trump's accusations that former president Barack Obama had tapped Trump Tower during the campaign in 2016.

"Mr. Kushner will certainly not be the last person the committee calls to give testimony, but we expect him to be able to provide answers to key questions that have arisen in our inquiry", the chairman, Sen.

The White House Office of Innovation is being given the authority to overhaul government bureaucracy.

Kushner is the person closest to the president to be questioned in the investigations and the only one now serving in the White House, according to the Times. On March 20, FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI and the Department of Justice have "no information to support" Trump's tweets.

A spokeswoman for Ryan, R-Wis., said Monday that the speaker has "full confidence" in Nunes conducting a "thorough, fair and credible investigation".

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Investigators are not yet sure whether Greenwood was targeted individually or because he was in uniform. As of 9 a.m. nearby Sterling H.S. remained on lockdown as a precaution, according to Goose Creek CISD.

Nunes and ranking member Adam Schiff announce they're investigating Russian election meddling, including possible communications between Russia and "political campaigns".

Questions over Nunes' independence have split the usually non-partisan Intelligence Committee as Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to damage the investigation.

Before running for Congress, Nunes was appointed the California state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development section by President George W. Bush in 2001.

"If you become a White House whisperer, you are not independent", she said on CNN.

In January, Yates warned White House counsel Donald McGahn that statements White House officials made about Flynn's contact with the ambassador were incorrect, and could therefore expose the national security adviser to future blackmail by the Russians.

Monday, several Democrats called for Nunes' removal from the investigation, citing concerns with his objectivity. That information was believed to have been provided to him by his former staffer Michael Ellis - who was hired by the Trump White House on March 7.

The arranging of the meeting with the Russian banker came at the same time that American intelligence determined that Russian spies ordered by President Vladimir Putin had attempted to sway the US election in favour of Trump, the newspaper reported.

The California lawmaker added that Nunes could have brought the intelligence over to Capitol Hill and "shared it with both parties of the committee". "His actions look like those of someone who is interested in protecting the president and his party", Schumer said.

When asked if the president himself is under investigation, Ryan said, "I won't speak for the FBI, but I've never seen any suggestion or any evidence that that's the case".

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