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 Nunes (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.
Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) began to ask about President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s statement to the House Intelligence Committee, according to the report.
But Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (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 Hastings (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.