Schiff: Nunes needs to decide if he's the chairman of an investigation or a White House surrogate

Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes.
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) revealed that intelligence services may have picked up communications by President Trump and his transition team during "normal foreign surveillance," then went and briefed Trump on what his source had told him. The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), responded in a press conference that it is "deeply troubling" Nunes shared his information with Trump before briefing his Intelligence Committee colleagues.

"The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct, which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House," Schiff said. "Because he cannot to both." Nunes was a member of Trump's transition team, and he said the information he saw came from an unidentified source. He did not reveal whose communications were intercepted or what they said.

Because Nunes kept the reports from the committee, it's "impossible" to evaluate the communications, Schiff said. It also makes it clearer than ever that there needs to be an independent commission looking into Russia's alleged meddling before the presidential election, he added. FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that there is an investigation into Russia and the election, and that there is no evidence to back up Trump's claims that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.