Published: Tue, April 04, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down

And before the hearing was officially nixed by Rep. Nunes, Yates received multiple letters from the Justice Department and the White House Counsel's Office informing her that certain bits of testimony containing privileged White House communications could be barred from a public hearing.

Yates, who was appointed Deputy Attorney General by President Obama and served as the acting Attorney General from January 20 to 30, was scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, along with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.

As the Washington Post obtained a letter regarding former acting attorney general sally yates, who was sacked by the president, and was scheduled to testify before the house intelligence panel.

According to NBC News, letters have surfaced suggesting the White House tried to prevent the former acting attorney general from testifying before a House intelligence committee. "As far as I know they've done very little to even look through the documents that the intelligence agencies have provided", Nunes said.

"How many questions are you going to ask me?" a visibly agitated Nunes said as he continued to walk toward the House chamber.

Earlier that morning, Nunes had privately briefed Trump on the information before sharing it with members of the House Intelligence investigation.

But CNN reports Nunes has now issued a formal invitation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to testify before Congress. It's unclear when that testimony will occur.

Now, however, a Republican in Congress has broken ranks with his party, and is joining calls for Nunes to recuse himself.

Nunes and the congressional inquiry he's leading into alleged Russian interference have come under increasing criticism in recent days, after he first claimed he had discovered "concerning" evidence that the Trump campaign was monitored after the election.

AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said Monday the speaker has "full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair and credible investigation". "We have no problem with her testifying".

Top Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as well as the House Intelligence Committee's ranking member, Adam Schiff, all called for Nunes' removal from the House investigation on Monday. Schiff wondered whether Nunes had canceled the public hearing at the White House's request to keep Yates from testifying - a claim White House spokesman Sean Spicer denied.

"Not only has this investigation sort of had a shadow cast on it, but the committee's been put into suspended animation", Himes said.

Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting separate investigations on any possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign, while FBI Director James Comey said his agency is leading its own inquiry into the matter.

Sean Spicer angrily dismissed inquiries about the matter Tuesday, declaring that "every single person who's been briefed on this, as I've said ad nauseam from this podium. have been very clear that there is no connection between the president or the staff here and anyone doing anything with Russian Federation".

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee - which is also investigating the Russia ties - said White House meddling in Congress' Russia investigations is not helping to "remove the cloud that increasingly is getting darker over the administration".

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