Nunes Won't Leave Russia Probe; Ryan Says No Need To

Sally Q. Yates then the US deputy attorney general speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice

Democrats, meanwhile, have accused Nunes of attempting to "suicide bomb" his own investigation because they are convinced the evidence of collusion is there.

McCain, an Arizona conservative and critic of President Donald Trump, said Nunes must divulge the identity of the source to rule out political influence. In fact, Nunes is acting as though he's trying to convince everyone he's staging a coverup.

Democrats have criticized the neutrality of the House committee's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow due to Nunes' recent actions.

Nunes acknowledged visiting the White House before making the announcement but has refused to say who he met with or who was source for his claims about the collection of incidental intelligence.

All meetings of the House Russia investigators were canceled this week shortly before the top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Nunes must recuse himself in order for the investigation to continue.

The canceled hearing would have been the first opportunity for the public to hear Yates' account of her role in the firing of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

It's a legal tactic created to elicit a response, but the White House says they did not respond, therefore, they did not block Yates from testifying, they claim.

Yates' lawyer said she still meant to testify and would not disclose any classified information.

Yates, along with former CIA Director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper, had agreed to testify publicly before the House intelligence committee. It's a question someone should ask him.

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The statement came after The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration sought to block Yates' testimony before Congress. He says the White House has "no problem with her testifying, plain and simple".

"We're not saying it's the end of healthcare...but I think we're looking to look for a way forward".

In any case, the subject of Flynn - presumably the topic of Yates's testimony - is only one corner of this scandal. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, Trump adviser Carter Page and Trump associate Roger Stone last week volunteered to speak as well.

It's becoming increasingly clear that we need an independent commission to investigate this scandal, since Republicans in Congress are plainly unwilling and incapable of doing it themselves. That's not likely to happen, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. He said: "Something's got to change, otherwise the whole effort in the House of Representatives will lose credibility".

McCain has expressed openness to an independent commission.

Nunes has been under fire by Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who are demanding that he step down, just days after he revealed that President Trump's transition team had been incidentally spied on by the Obama administration.

When asked at a press conference Tuesday morning if he thinks Nunes should step down from the investigation, and if he knows who Nunes' source was, Ryan answered simply, "Uh, no and no".

So what would it take for Republicans to buck the White House on this issue? You don't have to reach far to cook up a theory in which it was actually Team Trump that discovered the intelligence on incidental surveillance and then, instead of publicizing it themselves, chose to hand it off to Nunes to reveal it publicly in order to make it seem as though a neutral congressional investigator had discovered it.

Spicer wasn't just irked by reporters trying to create and sustain the appearance of a Russian Federation scandal. But there are actually a lot of things we DO know.

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