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 HoyerMarcia Fudge under spotlight as Pelosi Speaker fight heats up Pelosi and her opponents voice confidence over Speakership battle Clyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid MORE (Md.) called on Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCalif. congresswoman-elect bumps into Pelosi at airport How this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters MORE (R-Wis.) to remove House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHeads up, GOP: Elections have consequences Overnight Energy: Trump, California leaders clash over fires | Trump says oil prices should be 'much lower' | Zinke criticizes media coverage | Officials consider new truck pollution rule Trump, California battle over climate and cause of fires 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 TrumpBroward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism Retired lieutenant general tears into Trump over attacks against Navy SEAL: 'Disgusting' Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks 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 PelosiJohn Lewis joins Ocasio-Cortez on climate change push Dem House newcomers split on supporting Pelosi for Speaker Reelection campaign starts now, like it or not 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.