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 SwalwellAuthorities: California man arrested after trying to stab GOP House candidate As we look back at 9/11, let’s recapture the spirit of uniting to protect America Dem strategist: NYT op-ed from anonymous official is 'self-serving' MORE (D-Calif.) if he thought House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesNunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe House Republicans ask Trump to declassify Carter Page surveillance docs 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 SchiffTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Manafort went ‘above and beyond’ with plea deal, says ex-federal prosecutor Kavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report 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 TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president 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 ClintonTrump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe Hypocrisy in Kavanaugh case enough to set off alarms in DC Clinton: Hard to ignore 'racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says' MORE email investigation.

“The news that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down is a step forward,” Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzThe federal government must stop stifling medical marijuana research Hillicon Valley: Twitter chief faces GOP anger over bias | DOJ convenes meeting on bias claims | Rubio clashes with Alex Jones | DHS chief urges lawmakers to pass cyber bill | Sanders bill takes aim at Amazon Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee 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.”