Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe

Democrats on the House Rules Committee expressed frustration when 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.) was allowed to leave a panel hearing on a bill before they could ask questions about his panel's investigation into Russia's influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats tried to grill Nunes about his committee’s probe while he sat to testify about a bill Wednesday, CNN reported

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) began to ask about President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden calls on NSA to examine White House cybersecurity following Bezos hack The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE’s statement to the House Intelligence Committee, according to the report.

But Rules Committee Chairman Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden Giuliani held phone call with Maduro amid Venezuela crisis Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE (R-Texas) interrupted her, CNN reported. 

He broke up the committee for a recess and later dismissed Nunes before Democrats could ask him any more questions.

"In all my years on the Rules Committee, I don't ever recall an instance where any member was prevented from asking questions of a witness," Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said in a statement to CNN. "What is Chairman Nunes trying to hide?"

Rep. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Biden endorsed by four more members of Congressional Black Caucus The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Dramatic day as House heads toward impeachment vote MORE (D-Fla.) ripped Nunes for leaving.

"He's already gone, but I think that circumvents our responsibility," Hastings said. "We are continuously mindful of members' other responsibilities, but if he had to go vote at Ways and Means, he's going to get many other opportunities to vote on the same crap that he's going there to vote on."

Nunes and the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee shut down their investigation into Russian election meddling in March.

The group asserted that there was no evidence that Russia attempted to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Leaders in the group’s Senate counterpart found the opposite in May, ruling that the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win the White House was accurate.

Updated at 11:42 a.m.