Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) is the first Republican lawmaker to publicly call for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to “absolutely” recuse himself from his panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 206 presidential election.
“How can you be chairman of a major committee and do all these things behind the scenes and keep your credibility? You can’t keep your credibility,” Jones told The Hill just off the House floor.
Then he tore into Nunes.
“If anything has shown that we need a commission, this has done it by the way he has acted. That’s the only way you can bring integrity to the process. The integrity of the committee looking into this has been tainted.”
Jones stands alone as the only Republican co-sponsor in the measure from Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) in hopes to establish an independent commission to probe Russian interference in last year’s election.
Nunes on Tuesday brushed aside calls to recuse himself even though it was revealed that he was secretly on the grounds of the White House the day before he announced he had been shown evidence of ‘incidental’ surveillance of Trump’s transition team. Since then, Nunes has refused to give specifics as to what evidence he’s seen, nor has he shared the alleged information with the committee he chairs.
Nunes countered calls for him to recuse himself as “politics” even though many consider his stunt doing just that.
As a shock to no one ever, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled Tuesday that he was standing behind Nunes.
The North Carolina Republican said he doesn’t care what Ryan says.
“I don’t care what Mr. Ryan says. That’s his right to feel that way. I know how the people out here feel,” Jones said. “When you have a committee chairman that bypasses the committee and goes to the White House, when you have a president that has a cloud over their head, that’s not smart.”
“What Mr. Nunes has done is make it more political. Not less political, but more political.”
More of this, please.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr under Creative Commons license 2.0.