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 SwalwellTech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push Justice in legal knot in Mo Brooks, Trump case Mo Brooks's Jan. 6 defense raises questions about official immunity and DOJ strategy MORE (D-Calif.) if he thought House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Tucker Carlson claims NSA leaked private emails to journalists 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.

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"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 erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Lobbying world 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 TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE's first State of the Union on Tuesday night and one day after Andrew McCabe resigned as FBI deputy director.

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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 ClintonBiden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Shontel Brown gaining ground against Nina Turner in Ohio: poll Biden hits trail for McAuliffe in test of his political brand MORE email investigation.

“The news that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down is a step forward,” Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzLawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act Performance or performance art? A question for voters in 2022 (and 2024) Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections 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.”