Schumer: Ryan Must Replace ‘Partisan’ Nunes As House Intel Chair

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill before President Donald Trump's speech to the nation, in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Referring to Trump, Schumer said it was amazing in a month how incompetent this administration has been. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A “credible” investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian officials cannot happen with Trump ally Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) at the helm, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Monday.

“[House Intelligence Committee] Chairman Nunes is falling down on the job and seems to be more interested in protecting the President than in seeking the truth,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “You cannot have the person in charge of an impartial investigation be partial to one side.”

He requested that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) replace Nunes immediately over his unusual behavior in the past week.

Nunes confirmed Monday that he met and viewed confidential information with a source on White House grounds a day before he alleged that communications by Trump and his transition staffers may have been “incidentally” caught up in foreign surveillance.

Nunes briefed the President on those allegations and discussed them with the press without airing them to the rest of his committee, including ranking Democratic member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The White House has insisted the executive branch only learned about the meeting from “public reports,” but press secretary Sean Spicer did not categorically deny that the information provided to Nunes originated in the White House.

“Anything is possible,” Spicer said.

While Democrats are up in arms over Nunes’ behavior, Republicans, including Ryan, have stood by him.

“Speaker Ryan has full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair, & credible investigation,” his spokesperson told CNN’s Manu Raju in a statement after reports of Nunes’ meeting surfaced.

Schumer sharply disagreed, alleging that the California Republican could be “briefing members of the administration about an investigation of which they are the subject.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK