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Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down

07 April 2017

Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting separate investigations on any possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign, while FBI Director James Comey said his agency is leading its own inquiry into the matter.

But that same day, the hearing, which also would have included former CIA director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, was canceled by the House Intelligence Committee's chairman, Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican, and any White House decision on Yates's testimony became moot.

Democrats charge that Nunes has aligned himself too closely with the White House to conduct an independent probe.

Mr Nunes said his first visit to the White House was not to see Mr Trump but attend meetings "to confirm what I already knew" and claimed no one from the Trump team knew he was there.

Critics say that Nunes' disclosure was an effort to justify Trump's unfounded accusations this month that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had directed surveillance on Trump Tower during the election campaign.

Nunes argues he had to review classified, executive branch documents from a secure facility at the White House because the reports had not been provided to Congress and could not be transported to the secure facilities used by the House intelligence committee.

"That directly contradicts what Chairman Nunes has been telling reporters and been telling committee members over the course of the last couple of days", Mattingly told anchor Brooke Baldwin.

Then came revelations that he got that information "somehow" on White House grounds.

"It's interesting, this is very clearly worded, and yet somehow you're asking me how to interpret that in any other way than literally reading in plain English", Spicer said.

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Finance, Warren Buffett chimed in on his celebrity , saying he owed it to the rising interest of the Chinese in stock trading. According to CNBC, he said he consumed some 700 calories of Coke a day, and joked he was "about one-quarter Coca-Cola ".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on House Speaker Ryan to replace Nunes as chairman of the intelligence committee. "There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee".

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia's role in the election, wants to question Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador and a Russian banker in December.

All this means that the White House seemed to really, really not want Yates to talk on the record, which makes sense when you consider that the Post revealed that "Yates and another witness at the planned hearing, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to the committee probably would contradict some statements that White House officials had made".

When asked if Nunes should step down from the Russian Federation investigation House Speaker Paul Ryan, R- Wis. said "No and no".

Of course White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denies the motivation for the cancellation, but did say that he "looks forward" to future testimony from Yates.

During his press briefing Tuesday, Spicer said of Yates: "I hope she testifies". House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., defended canceling the public session until after Comey and Rogers had testified again, saying "there were more than 100 questions" the two couldn't answer because of the open nature of the first hearing.

On Tuesday, Chaffetz defended Nunes, calling him a man of "high integrity".

The House, the Senate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking into Russian meddling in the election.

"Wouldn't have been the way I would've done things, but I don't know whether that means he has to recuse himself", Christie said on Good Morning America Wednesday. Nunes still hasn't shown his evidence to anyone, and it appears increasingly likely that it doesn't really show anything at all.

Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down