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 HoyerThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (Md.) called on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE (R-Wis.) to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse passes annual intelligence bill Democrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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 PelosiTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says he won't watch Mueller testimony 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.