During an interview on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) called for an investigation into House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who bypassed the intelligence panel to brief President Trump on information related to U.S. surveillance of his transition team.
It was an unprecedented breach of justice and Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, demanded the matter be investigated.
“The Intelligence panel is a very special committee,” Cumming said. “They are privileged to information that most members of Congress may never see and so you expect them to be extremely confidential,” he added.
“What he did was basically to go to the president, who’s being investigated, by the FBI and others and by the intelligence committee, to give them information.”
Nunes on Wednesday said he had learned from a source that the U.S. intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of Trump’s transition team and then “widely disseminated” the information internally.
Democrats on the committee were blindsided, as were many Republicans. By the end of the day Wednesday, Nunes was still the only committee member to have seen the intelligence in question, according to the committee’s top Democrat.
The move outraged Democrats and threatened to plunge the committee into open partisan warfare.
Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, called Wednesday for an independent investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, arguing that the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), cannot credibly conduct the probe.
“Nunes’ actions simply raise enormous doubt about whether the committee can do its work, and I think that more than anything else I’ve seen, this makes the most profound case for the formation of an independent commission,” Schiff said during a news conference Wednesday.
Cummings told CNN that Nunes”put a cloud over his own investigation.”
“And he has become the subject basically, he should be, of an investigation. It’s a real problem.”
Watch the interview below:
— New Day (@NewDay) March 23, 2017