House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called for the removal of California Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee over what she claims is his “dishonest” handling of the secret GOP spy memo.
“Congressman Nunes’ deliberately dishonest actions make him unfit to serve as Chairman, and he must be removed immediately from this position,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan.
She cited an allegation that California Rep. Adam Schiff made on Wednesday that Nunes made “material” changes to the four-page spy memo before it was handed over to the White House earlier this week.
The Intel Committee voted along party lines on Monday to release the memo for review by the White House. Fox News reported that President Trump will approve its release on Friday.
But Democrats and the FBI have made a desperate last-ditch attempt to block release of the memo, which they say omits key context on the FBI’s handling of the infamous Steele dossier.
The classified report alleges that FBI and Justice Department officials relied on the dubious dossier in order to obtain spy warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Democrats claim that the memo is a set of GOP-crafted talking points aimed at hurting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. (RELATED: Schiff Claims House Intel Republicans ‘Secretly Altered’ Spy Memo)
“It has now come to our attention that Congressman Nunes deliberately and materially altered the contents of the memo since it was voted on by the House Republicans,” Pelosi wrote to Ryan, referring to Schiff’s letter to Nunes.
In that letter, Schiff claimed that Democratic staff discovered on Wednesday that the memo provided to the White House “is not…the same document” that was provided to members of Congress on Jan. 18. The Intel Committee voted at that time to allow all members of Congress to review the memo.
But there has been some confusion over what edits were made and when the memo was altered.
Schiff offered no specifics, but asserted that Democrats “were never apprised of” and “never approved” changes to the memo prior to its release to the White House.
A spokesman for Nunes said in a statement responding to Schiff’s statement on Wednesday that “minor edits” were made to the memo, including grammatical changes and at least one request made by the FBI over sources and methods revealed in the document.
And while Schiff’s letter left the impression that Nunes made edits after the House panel voted to provide the memo to the White House, a Republican committee source told The Daily Caller on Thursday that the edits were made to the memo prior to Monday’s vote.
A spokesman for Schiff did not respond to a request for comment on that claim.
In her letter, Pelosi referred to the memo as “bogus” and alleged that Nunes “has disgraced the House Intelligence Committee.”
“It is long overdue that you, as Speaker, put an end to this charade and hold Congressman Nunes and all Congressional Republicans accountable to the oath they have taken to support and defend the Constitution, and protect the American people,” said Pelosi.
“The integrity of the House is at stake. We look forward to your immediate action on this subject.”
Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, called the Schiff/Pelosi ploy a “bizarre distraction” and “strange attempt to thwart publication of the memo.”