'Follow the Facts': Top Dem Demands Independent Trump-Russia Commission

The committee chairman said today that the House Intelligence Committee has not received documents from the National Security Administration to officially corroborate those claims from his secret sources and said he doesn't expect to get them today.

Nunes has since apologized, but many Democrats say Nunes-an "executive committee" member of Mr. Trump's presidential transition-is the wrong person to lead an inquiry.

FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee this week that the bureau is probing Russian efforts to "interfere" in the November 8 election, as well as potential ties between Trump's associates and Moscow during the campaign. Chris Christie told Fox News on Friday evening that there was no visible evidence that Donald Trump was ever placed under surveillance by USA intelligence services while president-elect.

"The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation, which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or whether he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he can not do both", said the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California.

Nunes announced Friday that he was postponing a scheduled public hearing, set for Tuesday, March 28, at which former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Quinn were to testify about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections and possible contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.

FILE - Paul Manafort, then a senior aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, leaves the Four Seasons hotel in NY, after a GOP fundraiser, June 9, 2016.

The California Democrat hypothesized that the hearing with Comey on Monday caused the White House to resist another open hearing involving administration officials. "It's hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why an agreed upon hearing would be suddenly canceled". "What other explanation can there be?"

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With Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill refusing to embrace Trump's wiretap allegation, the president was out on a limb. Week ahead: House Intel chair under fire over Trump surveillance claims Jeb Bush: Trump a "distraction in and of himself" MORE's transition team.

"I am totally mystified by what Mr. Nunes has said", Warner said. "It appears like this was all legal". After he briefed reporters, Nunes met with the president. Trump said he felt "somewhat vindicated" by Nunes' briefing, although nothing Nunes said suggested that Trump or his associates had been targeted for surveillance.

By linking Gorsuch's fate to the FBI investigation into the Russian role in the United States elections, Schumer was suggesting that the alleged Trump-Russia connection could be used as leverage in a wider array of issues, ranging from judicial nominations to tax and budgetary policy.

Schiff then held his own press conference in which he essentially accused Nunes of coordinating with the White House to scuttle the Russian Federation investigation.

Schiff went one step further, charging that recent developments all pointed back to the current White House.

"Everything about it was wrong", Schiff said. "So if the commander-in-chief cannot be briefed by the chairperson of the House Intel Committee on a matter that has nothing to do with the FBI investigation then I don't know what they can talk about". Nunes was quoted at the time as saying he had always planned on pursuing the chairmanship, offering both his work on the committee itself and as chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, of which he remains a member, as proof of his credentials.

  • Stacy Houston