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 poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressives Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority MORE (Md.) called on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record The TRUST Act is a plot to gut Social Security behind closed doors MORE (R-Wis.) to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism 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 TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' 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 PelosiDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle 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.