MSNBC analyst to Dem rep: Has Nunes been compromised by the Russians?

NBC News and MSNBC national affairs analyst John Heilemann on Tuesday asked Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellDemocratic donors stuck in shopping phase of primary Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing Top Judiciary Republican to Swalwell: 'Stop running for president' MORE (D-Calif.) if he thought House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears ‘Fox & Friends’ host asks if McCabe opening FBI probe into Trump was attempt to ‘overthrow government’ Nunes says GOP lawmakers looking through Russia transcripts, will make DOJ referrals MORE (R-Calif.) had "been compromised by the Russians."

The question comes following a Monday vote in the House Intelligence Committee to make a controversial Republican-crafted memo public. The memo purports to show bias within the FBI and the Department of Justice.

"Congressman, I’m going to ask you a question I asked Sen. [Chris] Murphy (D-Conn.) a little earlier. It’s an impolitic question and one that would have seemed absurd in almost any other circumstance," said Heilemann, a former Bloomberg TV host.

"Congressman Nunes, your chairman, it is suggested not by me but by people who follow these matters closely, could possibly be someone who’s been compromised by the Russians. Is that something you consider a possibility?”

Swalwell stopped short of saying Nunes was compromised by Russians, but responded that he thinks Nunes has been "actively involved in this very disruptive process."  

“I can’t speak to his motives," Swalwell said. "I think he’s been compromised by the White House. He certainly seems to be willing to risk the republic to protect the president, to risk the rule of law to help the president’s case in the Russian investigation."

"He’s supposed to be recused," he continued. "He’s been recused in body in that he doesn’t show to the Russia witness interviews, but not in spirit. He has his hand all over every subpoena that he signs and now he’s actively involved in this very disruptive process.” 

Democrats, led by ranking House Intelligence member Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse chairmen consult with counsel about ways to get notes from Trump-Putin meetings Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by America's 340B Hospitals — Dems blast rulemaking on family planning program | Facebook may remove anti-vaccine content | Medicare proposes coverage for new cancer treatment Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week MORE (D-Calif.), have slammed the decision to release the memo, calling it a "dark day" in the Trump presidency.

The discussion between Heilemann and Swalwell comes ahead of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE's first State of the Union on Tuesday night and one day after Andrew McCabe resigned as FBI deputy director.

McCabe, 49, was planning on leaving the bureau in March, but took “terminal leave” that bridges the gap via vacation time starting Monday.

The president's Republican allies were pleased with the McCabe resignation after accusing the former deputy director of bias against Trump for months while criticizing his handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE email investigation.

“The news that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down is a step forward,” Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Parkland parents create anti-gun violence Valentine’s Day candies: ‘Don’t shoot,’ ‘he’s gone’ House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power MORE (R-Fla.) said in a statement on Monday. “I will continue fighting on behalf of the American people to expose and eradicate corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice.”