House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report

House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report
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Tensions between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have reportedly become so hostile that GOP members of the committee are planning to build a literal wall separating the two parties’ staffers.

The partition is expected to be constructed this spring in the committee’s secure spaces, according to CBS News.

Some Republican members of the committee said they were unaware of the plans for the wall. Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayHuawei: FCC proposal would hurt poor, rural communities Senate panel upholds finding that Russia backed Trump, contradicting House Trump era ramps up tech worker revolt MORE (R-Texas) suggested that the idea came from Chairman Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Justice Dept releases surveillance applications for former Trump aide On The Money: Trump 'ready' for tariffs on all 0B in Chinese goods | Trump digs in on Fed criticism | Lawmakers drop plans to challenge Trump ZTE deal MORE (R-Calif.)

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"I'm not part of that decision," Conaway told CBS. "You've got to talk to Devin. I don't know what they're trying to do one way or the other."

Rep. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyObama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena White House: Trump 'disagrees' with Putin's request to question Americans Lots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle MORE (R-Fla.) told CBS that the relationship and trust between Republicans and Democrats on the committee is “poison,” but strongly denied knowing about the wall.

“I swear to God I didn’t know that,” he said.

Rooney added that bipartisanship is “gone” from the committee, and told CBS that part of the reason for rising tensions is because the Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating GOP staff over concerns about alleged leaks. He told CBS that the probe is investigating the “entire” staff, even “the woman up front that answers the phone.”

The report about the wall comes amid the increasingly volatile environment over the released GOP surveillance memo and the still unreleased Democratic countermemo. Nunes and the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: Surveillance warrant docs show that Nunes memo 'misrepresented and distorted these applications' Sunday shows preview: Questions linger over Trump-Putin summit Obama, Bush veterans dismiss Trump-Putin interpreter subpoena MORE (Calif.), have been publicly exchanging jabs over the release of the controversial documents.

The GOP memo, released publicly earlier this month, alleges surveillance abuses in the FBI and Justice Department, accusing them of anti-Trump bias. Nunes has said that the committee’s Republicans are still investigating and plan to put together more memos.

The White House is currently reviewing the Democratic countermemo, which reportedly offers evidence disputing claims in the GOP memo and will decide by the end of the week whether to block its release.

Also plaguing the committee is concerns over leadership, as several Democrats have called for Nunes’s removal over the memo controversy, and delays in the committee's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

It was reported that former White House chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing Bookstore owner calls police after customer confronted Steve Bannon Trump’s plan to drown government must be stopped MORE will not appear before the committee for an interview despite a subpoena issued earlier this year, as he and the panel negotiate the scope of his testimony.

-Updated 6:38 p.m.