Pelosi: Intel chair Nunes is 'deeply compromised' on Russia investigation

Pelosi: Intel chair Nunes is 'deeply compromised' on Russia investigation
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is “deeply compromised” following his public announcement that the U.S. intelligence community incidentally gathered information about Trump transition team members.

“Chairman Nunes is deeply compromised, and he cannot possibly lead an honest investigation.  Congress must create a comprehensive, independent, bipartisan commission to expose the full truth of the Trump-Russia connection,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Nunes on Wednesday announced that the intelligence community collected surveillance on members of the Trump transition team "incidentally" — meaning that transition team members were captured by surveillance focusing on people outside the transition.

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"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition," the congressman told reporters. 

Nunes went to the White House on Wednesday to brief Trump about the documents, which he said show information about transition team members had been collected and disseminated throughout the intelligence community. Nunes also said the information collected was not part of an investigation into Russia and that he believed it was obtained legally.

Pelosi called Nunes’ actions “unprecedented” and “an act of diversion and desperation.”

“Chairman Nunes’ actions are disrespectful of Ranking Member Schiff and the bipartisan membership of the Intel Committee,” she said in the statement.

“Republicans are grasping at straws because the FBI Director confirmed that President Obama did not wiretap President Trump, and affirmed an investigation of coordination between the Russians and individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign in the election.”

The House Intelligence Committee is currently investigating Russia’s interference in the United States presidential election, along with President Trump’s claim, presented without evidence, that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPence lobbies anti-Trump donors to support reelection: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators Obama reveals his March Madness bracket MORE wiretapped Trump Tower.

The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism Five things to watch for as White House readies for Mueller report White House rejects Dem request for documents on Trump-Putin communications MORE (Calif.), said Wednesday afternoon that he had "grave concerns" about Nunes's handling of the intelligence information.

Trump said Nunes’s announcement made him feel “somewhat” vindicated about the wiretap allegation.