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Nunes Leaves Hearing After Questions Regarding Russia Investigation
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12 Jul 2018 09:44 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Devin Nunes (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)


The Russia investigation just has so many layers, just like an onion. And no matter what you do, you always get to the stinky center of it. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has been investigating the investigation, demanding to see the information the special counsel's team is holding onto.

Now the Democrats used his testimony regarding a bill to grill him on his investigation. But he was allowed to leave the hearing before things got too sticky for him.

Caroline Boothe, a spokeswoman for the House Rules Committee, described a plan that was laid out before Nunes' appearance to speak regarding the Intelligence Authorization Act. After he gave his opening statement on the legislation, he'd leave, and then Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) would take questions from the committee regarding the bill.

She indicated initially that the Democrats knew before the hearing that LoBiondo would be stepping into Nunes' shoes for the question part of the hearing. But later she admitted the Democrats were not given advance notice.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chairman of the House Rules Committee, announced at the beginning that Nunes would be leaving the hearing to take care of other matters. But he then opened it up for questions while Nunes was still sitting in the witness seat, and the Democrats pounced on this opportunity to grill him about the Russia investigation.

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) began by asking a question about Jared Kushner and a statement he'd previously given the House Intelligence Committee. Sessions interrupted her and then broke for a quick recess to discuss the questioning session with Rep. Jim McGovern, the top Democrat on the committee.

18 minutes later the hearing resumed, and Sessions dismissed Nunes before the Democrats could fire off any more questions. This led to the Democrats getting upset about him being dismissed.

"In all my years on the Rules Committee, I don't ever recall an instance where any member was prevented from asking questions of a witness," said McGovern in a statement. "What is Chairman Nunes trying to hide?"

Rep. Alcee Hastings, (D-FL) also had a few things to say about it. "He's already gone, but I think that circumvents our responsibility," he said. "We are continuously mindful of members' other responsibilities, but if he had to go vote at Ways and Means, he's going to get many other opportunities to vote on the same crap that he's going there to vote on." 

While Nunes has been holding the feet of the special counsel's team to the fire, it appears that once the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak, it wasn't a very comfortable fit for him.

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