MSNBC analyst to Dem rep: Has Nunes been compromised by the Russians?

NBC News and MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann on Tuesday asked Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellIndictments show the need for Mueller investigation to continue Full interview: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) talks about Donald Trump and the Russia investigation Swalwell: Trump delaying end of Russia probe with refusal to testify MORE (D-Calif.) if he thought House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesFreedom Caucus lawmakers call on DOJ to probe Rosenstein allegations Indictments show the need for Mueller investigation to continue Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (R-Calif.) had "been compromised by the Russians."

The question comes following a Monday vote in the House Intelligence Committee to make a controversial Republican-crafted memo public. The memo purports to show bias within the FBI and the Department of Justice.

"Congressman, I’m going to ask you a question I asked Sen. [Chris] Murphy (D-Conn.) a little earlier. It’s an impolitic question and one that would have seemed absurd in almost any other circumstance," said Heilemann, a former Bloomberg TV host.

"Congressman Nunes, your chairman, it is suggested not by me but by people who follow these matters closely, could possibly be someone who’s been compromised by the Russians. Is that something you consider a possibility?”

Swalwell stopped short of saying Nunes was compromised by Russians, but responded that he thinks Nunes has been "actively involved in this very disruptive process."  

“I can’t speak to his motives," Swalwell said. "I think he’s been compromised by the White House. He certainly seems to be willing to risk the republic to protect the president, to risk the rule of law to help the president’s case in the Russian investigation."

"He’s supposed to be recused," he continued. "He’s been recused in body in that he doesn’t show to the Russia witness interviews, but not in spirit. He has his hand all over every subpoena that he signs and now he’s actively involved in this very disruptive process.” 

Democrats, led by ranking House Intelligence member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDem lawmaker: Putin will take Trump's attack on Mueller probe as 'green light' to interfere in 2018 The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Russians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit MORE (D-Calif.), have slammed the decision to release the memo, calling it a "dark day" in the Trump presidency.

The discussion between Heilemann and Swalwell comes ahead of President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE's first State of the Union on Tuesday night and one day after Andrew McCabe resigned as FBI deputy director.

McCabe, 49, was planning on leaving the bureau in March, but took “terminal leave” that bridges the gap via vacation time starting Monday.

The president's Republican allies were pleased with the McCabe resignation after accusing the former deputy director of bias against Trump for months while criticizing his handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE email investigation.

“The news that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down is a step forward,” Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzSacha Baron Cohen mulls arming toddlers with guns in inaugural episode Who to watch for in Sacha Baron Cohen's upcoming show GOP lawmaker thinks he was duped by Sacha Baron Cohen MORE (R-Fla.) said in a statement on Monday. “I will continue fighting on behalf of the American people to expose and eradicate corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice.”