House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as chair of the House Intelligence Committee over his decision to edit the committee’s controversial memo before sending it to the White House for review.
“The decision of Chairman Nunes and House Republicans to release a bogus memo has taken the GOP’s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme,” Pelosi wrote in the letter to Ryan. “It has now come to our attention that Congressman Nunes deliberately and materially altered the contents of the memo since it was voted on by the House Republicans. This action is not only dangerous, it is illegitimate, and violates House rules.”
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee cried foul Wednesday night when they learned that Nunes made edits to the memo after the committee voted in favor of releasing it. Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) charged that the changes were “substantive,” while Nunes’ spokesperson shrugged off the edits as minor.
The edits to the memo were just the latest move in the dramatic push by House Republicans to release the memo to the public. The memo reportedly purports to show that the Justice Department abused the process used to conduct surveillance on an American working for the Trump campaign, while Democrats argue that the memo is a purely political document that cherry picks information to support a conspiracy theory that top FBI officials have been working against Trump.
In her letter to Ryan, Pelosi argued that Nunes has long made questionable moves as Intelligence Committee chairman, but that his decision to quietly edit the memo before sending it to the White House was the last straw.
“From the start, Congressman Nunes has disgraced the House Intelligence Committee. Since pledging to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, Congressman Nunes has abused his position to launch a highly unethical and dangerous cover-up campaign for the White House,” she wrote. “Congressman Nunes’ deliberately dishonest actions make him unfit to serve as Chairman, and he must be removed immediately from this position.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also called for Ryan to remove Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence Committee in a Thursday letter. Schumer lamented that Nunes “has now drafted and seeks to release a conspiracy-themed memo that selectively cherry-picks classified information intended to discredit the past work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ultimately Special Counsel Mueller.”
Read Pelosi’s full letter: