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House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report

House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report
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Tensions between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have reportedly become so hostile that GOP members of the committee are planning to build a literal wall separating the two parties’ staffers.

The partition is expected to be constructed this spring in the committee’s secure spaces, according to CBS News.

Some Republican members of the committee said they were unaware of the plans for the wall. Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayBottom line House Republican introduces amendment to include farm aid in stopgap funding bill Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas) suggested that the idea came from Chairman Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOvernight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE (R-Calif.)

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"I'm not part of that decision," Conaway told CBS. "You've got to talk to Devin. I don't know what they're trying to do one way or the other."

Rep. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons MORE (R-Fla.) told CBS that the relationship and trust between Republicans and Democrats on the committee is “poison,” but strongly denied knowing about the wall.

“I swear to God I didn’t know that,” he said.

Rooney added that bipartisanship is “gone” from the committee, and told CBS that part of the reason for rising tensions is because the Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating GOP staff over concerns about alleged leaks. He told CBS that the probe is investigating the “entire” staff, even “the woman up front that answers the phone.”

The report about the wall comes amid the increasingly volatile environment over the released GOP surveillance memo and the still unreleased Democratic countermemo. Nunes and the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn Trump pardons Michael Flynn MORE (Calif.), have been publicly exchanging jabs over the release of the controversial documents.

The GOP memo, released publicly earlier this month, alleges surveillance abuses in the FBI and Justice Department, accusing them of anti-Trump bias. Nunes has said that the committee’s Republicans are still investigating and plan to put together more memos.

The White House is currently reviewing the Democratic countermemo, which reportedly offers evidence disputing claims in the GOP memo and will decide by the end of the week whether to block its release.

Also plaguing the committee is concerns over leadership, as several Democrats have called for Nunes’s removal over the memo controversy, and delays in the committee's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

It was reported that former White House chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next Juan Williams: Obama's dire warnings about right-wing media Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight MORE will not appear before the committee for an interview despite a subpoena issued earlier this year, as he and the panel negotiate the scope of his testimony.

-Updated 6:38 p.m.