Black Caucus calls on Ryan to remove Nunes as Intel Committee chair

Black Caucus calls on Ryan to remove Nunes as Intel Committee chair
© Greg Nash

The Congressional Black Caucus is calling on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump slams 'rogue' Sasse after criticism of executive actions Wary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey MORE (R-Wis.) to remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

"This action is necessary in order to meet the public's expectation that Congress conducts an impartial investigation into a matter that threatens the core of our democracy," the CBC said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Congressman Nunes' recent actions have caused him to lose the confidence of members of his committee, and, more importantly, the American people, and he can no longer be trusted with the information that the committee receives."

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The statement comes amid calls by Democratic lawmakers on the committee for Nunes to recuse himself from the panel's ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and alleged ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia.

Nunes stirred controversy last week when he announced without first consulting members of the committee that he had received evidence that the U.S. intelligence community had incidentally collected information on members of Trump's transition team. Shortly after the revelation, the California Republican went to the White House to brief Trump on the matter.

But the evidence cited by Nunes has not been made public, and he has refused to reveal the source of the information, even to other members of the intelligence panel. It was also revealed on Monday that Nunes paid an unscheduled visit to White House property the night before he made his announcement, reportedly to view the evidence.

That late-night excursion has led some Democrats to accuse Nunes of colluding with the White House on his announcement in an effort to vindicate Trump's claim that his presidential campaign was wiretapped by the Obama administration. Some have called for his recusal, while others, like committee member Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), have urged Ryan to remove him from his post. 

Nunes has rebuffed pressure to recuse himself from the investigation and sought on Wednesday to cast blame for the House's floundering probe on Democrats, accusing them of not taking it seriously.

The CBC also demanded an independent special commission to carry out the Russia probe, arguing that the standing intelligence panels in the House and the Senate cannot carry out the investigation.

"Congress must create an independent, bipartisan commission to expose the full truth about any and all Trump-Russia connections and collusion," the statement reads. "The American people want and deserve to know if their government has been compromised by the Kremlin."