Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe

Democrats on the House Rules Committee expressed frustration when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesNunes used political donations for K in NBA tickets, winery tours, Vegas trips: report Russia raises problems for GOP candidates GOP lawmaker regrets appearing on Alex Jones's radio show MORE (R-Calif.) was allowed to leave a panel hearing on a bill before they could ask questions about his panel's investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats tried to grill Nunes about his committee’s probe while he sat to testify about a bill Wednesday, CNN reported

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Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) began to ask about President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerGeorge Will charges that Trump colluded with Putin DNC claims Secret Service blocked attempt to deliver lawsuit against Kushner On The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger MORE’s statement to the House Intelligence Committee, according to the report.

But Rules Committee Chairman Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsHouse GOP refuses to boost funding for election security Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (R-Texas) interrupted her, CNN reported. 

He broke up the committee for a recess and later dismissed Nunes before Democrats could ask him any more questions.

"In all my years on the Rules Committee, I don't ever recall an instance where any member was prevented from asking questions of a witness," Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said in a statement to CNN. "What is Chairman Nunes trying to hide?"

Rep. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsOcasio-Cortez draws ire from Democrats: ‘Meteors fizz out’ Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe Lawmakers consider provision banning killing of dogs, cats for food MORE (D-Fla.) ripped Nunes for leaving.

"He's already gone, but I think that circumvents our responsibility," Hastings said. "We are continuously mindful of members' other responsibilities, but if he had to go vote at Ways and Means, he's going to get many other opportunities to vote on the same crap that he's going there to vote on."

Nunes and the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee shut down their investigation into Russian election meddling in March.

The group asserted that there was no evidence that Russia attempted to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Leaders in the group’s Senate counterpart found the opposite in May, ruling that the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win the White House was accurate.

Updated at 11:42 a.m.