Intel Dem: White House is acting like ‘what a cover-up to a crime looks like’

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Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, joined calls for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to step down, adding that his conduct and interactions with the White House look like “a cover-up.”

Swalwell made the comment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday while discussing reports that Nunes was on White House grounds the day before he announced he had seen intelligence that showed members of President Trump’s transition team had been caught up in surveillance operations. After making the announcement about the intelligence, Nunes then went to the White House to brief Trump — which has raised more eyebrows about why he was at the White House the day before to see information he said later that he was taking to Trump.

Nunes said he was on White House grounds, but not in the White House itself, for meetings “to confirm what I already knew,” and he claimed that no one in the White House knew he was there.

Swalwell hit back at Nunes’s story.

{mosads}“It’s not an internet cafe. You can’t just walk in and receive classified information,” Swalwell said of the White House, adding that when lawmakers visit the White House, “Everyone in the building knows that you’re there in the building.”

“This is done because the White House wanted it to be done,” Swalwell said. “And this is what a cover-up to a crime looks like. We are watching it play out right now.”


Swalwell added that Nunes could have viewed classified materials at secure facilities in the Capitol building and that the White House visit was unnecessary.

“If this was done the proper way, they could have brought it over, shared it with both parties of the committee,” he said.

Swalwell also raised questions as to why Nunes hasn’t wanted to share his source behind surveillance claims.

“A lot of [lawmakers] have said that we don’t need an independent commission because we’re doing the work in the House committee, on the Intelligence Committee, and so that’s always been the out for not having an independent commission,” Swalwell said. “So I’ve heard frustration that they don’t have that out anymore. So where do we go now?”

Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, have asked Nunes to recuse himself in light of revelations he secretly visited the White House grounds one day before announcing incidental surveillance of President Trump’s transition team and then briefed the president — without informing committee Democrats. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also pressed Nunes to reveal his sources for the claim that Trump transition officials were “unmasked” during surveillance operations.

Nunes said his findings had no relevance to the Russia probe, even as the committee is examining the unmasking and leaking of surveillance information as part of that investigation. 

Tags Adam Schiff John McCain

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