Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to replace Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as the chair on the House Intelligence Committee over his meeting with President Donald Trump about secret wiretapping information he says he has.
He made the demand in a statement on the Senate floor Monday.
"Unfortunately, the House Intelligence Committee has come under a cloud of suspicion and partisanship," Schumer said, making his case against Nunes. "A few months ago, Chairman Nunes spoke to reporters at the request of the White House to tamp down stories on the links between the Trump campaign and Russia, which is exactly what his committee is now investigating. This past week, Chairman Nunes broke with committee process and tradition to brief the president on information he learned but hadn't yet shared with the committee. Now we learn this morning that Chairman Nunes was at the White House the day before that event — doing what? We don't know.
"You cannot have the person in charge of an impartial investigation be partial to one side," Schumer declared. "It's an inherent contradiction. And it undermines decades of bipartisan cooperation on the Intelligence Committee, which handles such sensitive information paramount to national security."
"It undermines Congress as a co-equal branch of government," Schumer continued, "meant to hold the Executive Branch accountable for its actions. And it corrodes the American people's confidence in our government."
"Mr. President," he concluded, "if Speaker Ryan wants the House to have a credible investigation, he needs to replace Chairman Nunes."
Nunes started a firestorm when he abruptly presented information to the president he said was related to the wiretapping accusations Trump made against former President Barack Obama. Democrats have said, like Schumer, that this was against committee process and tradition, while Republicans, like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have defended the actions, saying it had nothing to do with their current investigation.
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Nunes has still not presented the committee with the information he says he has.