Republican joins calls for Devin Nunes to recuse himself from Russian Federation probe


California representative Eric Swalwell, a member of the committee, has called on Mr Nunes to step down from chairing the investigation into whether Russian hackers had interfered with the presidential elections a year ago.

Nunes reviewed the information last week, then called a news conference to announce that US spy agencies may have inadvertently captured Trump and his associates in routine targeting of foreigners' communications.

Yates reportedly warned the White House in January that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

Nunes told reporters Tuesday he would not step down from the investigation in Russian interference during the US election. Some Democrats have accused Nunes of trying to undermine the investigation's independence from the White House and called on him to recuse himself from it.

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Nunes, in turn, complained Wednesday to NBC News that Democrats "aren't really serious about this investigation" and have not fully participated in committee efforts.

TRT World's Tetiana Anderson has more on the controversy from Washington DC. Nunes has not shared his source with fellow committee members, but told Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake it was an intelligence official and not a White House staffer.

Previously, Nunes would not say where he met his source, and has still not revealed the identity of the source.

Then, later on Friday, the public hearing that was to include Yates' testimony was abruptly canceled by the Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), making a lot of people go, "Wait, what?" The Justice Department responded the next day, saying that it was possible that Yates may need the White House's approval in order to testify. "No one on the committee was invited to these hearings", Schiff said. In a statement Tuesday, the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, urged "that the open hearing be rescheduled without further delay and that Ms. Yates be permitted to testify freely and openly".

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"The American people should have had the benefit of an open hearing", Schiff said, noting the the initial public hearing brought Comey's acknowledgment that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign figures and Russian Federation. Nunes told reporters, rebuffing Democrats. Both Nunes and Spicer denied that the White House had any influence on the decision to cancel. "They know we are doing an investigation and that will continue".

"Because of classification rules, the source could not simply put the documents in a backpack and walk them over to the House Intelligence committee space", Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said.

"We encourage them to go ahead, but to suggest in any way, shape or form, that we stood in the way of that is 100% false", said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Peskov says the Kremlin was not aware of the meeting with Kushner before it took place.

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