Schiff Accuses Nunes of Canceling Next Public Hearing Because of Pressure From White House

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Mar 24, 2017 11:50 AM
Schiff Accuses Nunes of Canceling Next Public Hearing Because of Pressure From White House

Ranking House Intelligence Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been at odds with Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) this week in the midst of their investigation into Trump's claim that the Obama administration had surveilled his transition team. Schiff first expressed his frustration with Nunes when he held a press conference about the committee's findings before he had briefed all committee members. Nunes also took his findings to the president, after which panelists accused him of jeopardizing the committee's integrity. He apologized for that premature action.

Yet, Schiff became even more upset on Friday after Nunes announced he was canceling the next public hearing into their investigation, in which former DNI Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates were scheduled to testify. Instead, Nunes announced, the committee would be meeting with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael S. Rogers in a closed briefing. When he heard that Nunes canceled the hearing, which was scheduled for March 28, Schiff accused his colleague of "choking off" public information.

Asked why he believes Nunes had nixed the next hearing, Schiff suggested the White House may have had something to do with it. 

"There must have been a strong pushback" from the White House because of the nature of Monday's public hearing," Schiff said. The cancellation "clearly had to do with the events of this week."

The press asked if Schiff had lost faith in Nunes' ability to be chairman of the intelligence committee, to which he replied, "I'm deeply discouraged by this week's events."

There is "no basis" for Trump's claim that Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped, Schiff reiterated.