Hoyer calls on Ryan to remove Nunes after release of memo

Hoyer calls on Ryan to remove Nunes after release of memo
© Greg Nash

Democratic House Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse pays tribute to late Congressman Sam Johnson on the floor Barbara Lee: Congress should focus on eliminating poverty House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA MORE (Md.) called on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTwitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE (R-Wis.) to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate MORE (R-Calif.) on Friday after the release of a memo Nunes drafted alleging abuse of surveillance authorities at the Department of Justice.

"As Speaker, you have the authority to remove Chairman Nunes from his position, which at this time I believe is the only appropriate course of action," Hoyer wrote in a letter to Ryan.

"The Chairman’s behavior has undermined the trust of this House and of the American people in his leadership of the Intelligence Committee and the Committee’s work. It has been condemned by FBI and Justice Department officials appointed to their posts by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE," he continued.

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"Now is a moment to assert, in bipartisan fashion, Congress’s status under our Constitution as a co-equal branch, one not subordinated to the will and whims of the President, no matter to which party that president belongs."

The memo's release on Friday sparked a backlash from Democrats, who called the document inaccurate.

Hoyer's call for Nunes's removal follows the same call from House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (D-Calif.). 

“The decision of Chairman Nunes and House Republicans to release a bogus memo has taken the GOP’s cover-up campaign to a new, completely unacceptable extreme,” Pelosi said in a letter.

“As the Department of Justice warned, the public release of the memo would be an ‘unprecedented action’ and ‘extraordinarily reckless.’”

President Trump on Friday signed off on the memo's release despite strong pushback from the intelligence community.

The memo accuses top DOJ officials of inappropriately using a piece of opposition research, known as the "Steele dossier," on then-candidate Trump to obtain multiple Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a former Trump adviser.

It also claims that the FBI as part of that process provided information on former Trump aide George Papadopoulos that triggered the federal probe into Russia's possible attempts to influence the U.S. presidential election — an investigation that eventually led to the ongoing scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.