WASHINGTON – Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, vowed Wednesday to “vigorously investigate the various ways in which President Trump is innocent of any connection to or collusion with Russia or Russian government representatives.” Nunes briefed reporters at the Capitol and read from a prepared statement before taking questions.
“I hereby vow to do everything in my power to get to the bottom of how innocent President Trump is of charges of collusion with Russian hackers or government officials,” Nunes said. “This includes any knowledge of hacking on the part of the Russians, any cooperation with Russian government officials, and even any communication with Russian officials. I will not rest until this committee gets at the truth about the president’s innocence in all these areas.”
Nunes has seen his impartiality questioned after first serving on President Trump’s transition team and most recently for briefing the White House, rather than fellow members of the committee he chairs, about evidence he claims prove that the names of Trump or members of his campaign team were swept up in incidental collection related to separate investigations.
Wednesday, however, he said he’s “more committed than ever” to investigating the innocence of President Trump and his campaign team.
“It is the duty of this committee to follow the truth about how innocent President Trump is wherever it leads, and that is what I intend to do,” Nunes said. “I will follow any lead, any piece of evidence that helps this committee get at the truth about just how innocent this president is. Doing anything less would be a violation of my duty as chairman of this committee.”
Nunes recently cancelled hearings that would have featured testimony from former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as well as meetings of the committee itself, according to other members of the committee.
But that doesn’t mean Nunes is any less committed to proving the truth about Trump’s lack of collusion or involvement with Russia in the runup to the 2016 presidential election.
“I cancelled those hearings only because the witnesses that were going to testify were potentially going to speak to the fact that members of President Trump’s team may have had contact with Russian government officials or representatives during the campaign or the transition period after the campaign, or both,” Nunes said, in response to a reporter’s question following his statement. “Obviously, as that information does not further this committee’s task of getting at the truth regarding the fact that President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong, I could not in good faith allow that information to be released to the public.”
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