White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

Miranda GreerMar 31, 2017

It's unclear why Nunes would have rushed to brief Trump on information that originated at the White House, which is what got him in trouble in the first place.

"We have invited them up to view it in a classified setting", he said, referring to the Republican chairs and Democratic ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees. In the letter, White House Counsel Don McGhan wrote the material related to whether "information collected on United States persons was mishandled and leaked".

Spicer noted the material is related to the March 15 letter in which materials were requested about the intelligence committees' investigation into whether information collected on U.S. citizens was mishandled and leaked to the press.

The GOP chairman was shown the information while on White House grounds before he returned there last week to brief Trump about the information. "And again, I think the White House needs to answer: Is this instead a case where they wished to effectively launder information through our committee to avoid the true source of the information?"

Spicer's comments come as the leaders of the House intelligence committee are trying to get their Russian Federation investigation back on the rails, according to Schiff.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for what the time the letter was sent.

The committee leaders were trying to agree on a common set of initial witnesses, Schiff said, an issue that prompted the cancellation of both an open and closed hearing this week.

Nunes earlier this month said he had been shown information indicating that the US intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of President Trump's transition team.

While it has always been apparent that White House officials had to have been involved in Nunes' meeting on White House grounds - there is no other way he could have gained access to the complex, the Times report will only increases the scrutiny surrounding a chairman already seen as too closely tied to Trump.

Nunes has also been faulted by his congressional colleagues for sharing the information with President Trump before consulting with other members of the intelligence committee.

But Schiff argued it was up to Nunes to restore credibility in the committee's investigation.

"I think that we certainly had agreement today that the witnesses that we feel are appropriate, they won't stand in our way, and we feel the same way about witnesses they want to call", he said. "But our job is to do everything in our power to be responsible to go forward and be constructive and that's what we're doing".

The report did not make clear exactly what the pair did to assist Nunes.

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