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 HoyerDemocrats, GOP poised to pounce on Mueller findings GOP trapped between Trump and Dems on spending Wasserman Schultz: 'We need a President, not a comic book villain' MORE (Md.) called on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFEC filing: No individuals donated to indicted GOP rep this cycle The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty MORE (R-Wis.) to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators Schiff, Nunes pressed DOJ for Mueller briefing The Hill's Morning Report - Mueller report will dominate this week 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 TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Pelosi accuses Barr of 'single-minded effort' to protect Trump against Mueller report Dems attack Barr's credibility after report of White House briefings on Mueller findings 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.