Man leading Russia links investigation says he has 'duty and obligation' to Donald Trump

Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee have questioned whether Devin Nunes is working as a 'surrogate of the White House' and called for an independent investigation

Charlotte England
Sunday 26 March 2017 02:48
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House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes talks to reporters in the Capitol Visitors Center 24 March 2017 in Washington, DC
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes talks to reporters in the Capitol Visitors Center 24 March 2017 in Washington, DC

The chair of the investigation into links between Russia and the Trump team has said he has a “duty and obligation” to the President.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ made the comments just days after he was criticised for personally briefing Donald Trump on developments in the investigation before he told Democrats on the committee about new information.

Mr Nunes went to Mr Trump first to discuss evidence that members of the President’s transition team were legally surveilled by US intelligence agencies.

It lead the second most senior member of the committee, Democrat Adam Schiff, to question whether Mr Nunes was working as a “surrogate of the White House".

“I felt I had a duty and obligation to tell him [Mr Trump] because as you know he’s been taking a lot of heat in the news media,” Mr Nunes told Fox News.

He added: “I think to some degree there are some things that he should look at to see whether in fact he thinks the collection was proper or not.”

Minority leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, expressed concern about Mr Nunes, who was a member of Mr Trump’s transition, admitting to feeling a “duty and obligation” to someone he is supposed to be investigating.

“I think he sent a signal that as a member of the Trump transition team himself, he probably should not be intricately involved in this investigation,” Ms Pelosi said at a news conference on Thursday.

She added that he was either “duped” or a “willing stooge” of the White House and called on an independent committee to investigate Russian meddling into the election.

Although Mr Nunes has found Mr Trump’s claims he was wire-tapped by the Obama administration to be complete baseless.

But Mr Trump has claimed Mr Nunes' briefings helped him feel “vindicated”.

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