Nunes, Schiff meet to try to get Russian Federation investigation back on track

As House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes faces growing calls to step aside from the investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie admitted he didn't agree with Nunes' actions but said recusal is a "personal decision".

Nunes and the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, sent a March 15 letter to the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency asking for information about the publishing of Americans' names in intelligence reports that relate to the presidential candidates and their associates.

Nunes has faced criticism from Democrats and a few Republicans after revelations that he met with a secret source on White House grounds a day before he claimed that communications of members of President Donald Trump's transition were swept up by USA intelligence as part of incidental collection. "But at the end of the day, we're going to do an investigation with or without them, and if they want to participate, that's fine, but the facts of the matter are pretty clear", Nunes said, according to Business Insider.

The comments from Nunes came as he was asked about Republican Congressman Walter Jones, R-N.C., joining with several Democrats in calling for the chairman to recuse himself from the investigation.

The California Republican admitted that he met with an unidentified source on the White House grounds to review intelligence reports ahead of his claim that Trump transition members' communications were "incidentally" swept up by US intelligence officials.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said he would not ask for Nunes to recuse himself, and Nunes said the calls for recusal or removal from the committee were "politics". Nunes has also told NBC News he did not reveal his source to Trump.

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"To date, we have made 20 requests for individuals to be interviewed by the committee", Burr said.

Wolf Blitzer's CNN panel on Thursday discussed the "clandestine" nature of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' (R-CA) information-gathering in recent weeks.

"The real story, the real issue here, is not so much about the midnight run by the chairman onto the White House grounds, it's really that they wanted to cancel the hearing this week", Bash told MSNBC.

"Because it appears like the Democrats aren't really serious about this investigation", he said. This fueled speculation that a White House official had provided the information to Nunes to bolster the president's tweeted claim that President Barack Obama illegally ordered surveillance, which had been repudiated by the nation's highest intelligence and law enforcement officials, as well as by Nunes himself. "We're in the process of exchanging witness lists and are going to see if by the end of the day we can agree on at least a common set of initial witnesses".

In a highly symbolic move Monday, after Nunes canceled a planned committee meeting, House Intelligence Republicans and Democrats still met in the same, classified briefing space in the Capitol where they typically meet but they gathered separately, plotting their own game plans. "We have yet to receive a response". "I think that would take a lot of tension out of this process", he said.

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