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House intelligence committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is resisting growing calls for him to step aside over the revelation he had gone to the White House grounds to receive classified information related to committee’s investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election.
Speaking to reporters as he arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, Nunes said the investigation is “moving forward.”
“We’ve been investigating Russia for many, many years,” he said.
Asked if he felt he could continue to lead the investigation, Nunes replied: “Why would I not?”
His comments came amid a chorus of Democrats calling for his recusal.
“This is what a cover-up to a crime looks like,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the committee, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Going over to the White House, he went to receive information that you know, Joe, we can receive at the Capitol. We have our own secure facility.”
“I do think it is time for Mr. Nunes to step aside for the sake of this investigation,” Rep. Joseph Crowley. D-N.Y., said on CNN, “so we can get to the bottom of this without innuendo or suspicion.”
Nunes sparked a firestorm last week when he declared that had seen information leading him to believe that communications from President Trump or his associates may have been “incidentally” picked up by U.S. intelligence agencies.
His statement, provided without evidence, was seized by Trump, who said it supported his own apparently baseless claim that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of his Trump Tower headquarters. The White House called on the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate Trump’s wiretapping claim while they probe the Kremlin’s efforts to influence the U.S. election.
Nunes apologized to his committee members for briefing the White House on his findings before them, and intrigue has swirled as to who, exactly, gave the California lawmaker his secret intel. On Monday, reports indicated that he had talked to his mystery source on the White House grounds.