Nunes Abruptly Leaves Hearing After Questions About Russia Are Brought Up
Devin Nunes has been one of the more controversial members of Congress during the Trump/Russia probe. As the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he has repeatedly hampered the testimonies of key witnesses, and eventually brought the House investigation to a close despite opposition from Democrats on the committee. Nunes was also known for questioning witnesses in a way which, to many observers, seemed as if he was trying to discredit their testimony, as a defense to the Trump campaign.
Yesterday, as Nunes sat before the House Rules Committee to testify on a bill, Democrats began grilling him about his committee’s investigation into Russian election interference. Rep. Norma Torres, a Democrat from California, asked Nunes about a statement made by Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner earlier this year. Immediately following Torres’ question, the Chairman of the Rules Committee, Texas Republican Pete Sessions, quickly interrupted, calling for a recess of the committee, before allowing Nunes to be dismissed.
Democrats were unable to get their questions answered, and Nunes never returned to the hearing.
“He’s already gone but I think that circumvents our responsibility,” Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) 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.”
“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,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) told CNN. “What is Chairman Nunes trying to hide?”
It is unknown exactly where Democrats were going with their questioning, but Nunes’ quick departure certainly appeared to rub them all the wrong way.