Nunes won't leave Russia probe; Ryan says no need to

Therefore, to the extent Ms. Yates needs consent to disclose the details of those communications to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence], she needs to consult with the White House.

The former acting attorney general was sacked by Trump in January but had been deeply involved in the investigation of Michael Flynn before that.

A member of the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic Eric Swalwell of California, has accused the chairman of his panel, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, of participating in a cover-up of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to the Russian government.

According to NBC News, letters have surfaced suggesting the White House tried to prevent the former acting attorney general from testifying before a House intelligence committee.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean "Spicy Facts" Spicer issued a statement calling the allegations false. The aide said that the holdup for Nunes appears to be that he did not want Yates, in particular, to testify.

However, Nunes says he was not in the White House itself.

Nunes described the source as an intelligence official, not a White House official.

And on Friday, Nunes cancelled all of this week's scheduled committee meetings, including a public hearing for the testimony of former Obama administration intelligence director James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

"We're trying to get those documents as rapidly as possible", Nunes told VOA Tuesday on efforts to brief other committee members. It's unclear when that testimony will occur.

Nunes told Bloomberg News on Monday that he went to the White House grounds last Tuesday with a computer connected to the system that included the reports, which are only distributed within the executive branch. Tuesday, the lawmaker said there is not need to recuse himself from the investigative proceedings. "We have no problem with her testifying, plain and simple".

"We certainly welcome the director to come back, but not in lieu of a public hearing", Schiff said.

The effective freeze in the committee's Russian Federation investigation comes as Democrats are calling for Nunes, who was part of Trump's transition team, to recuse himself from the probe.

A US government watchdog has agreed to review how classified information is kept secure at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the agency says, after Democratic lawmakers raised concerns about the issue last month. In a series of tweets Monday night, Trump said that instead of probing his associates, the committee should be investigating his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton's ties to the Kremlin.

But although Democrats want Nunes to step aside on the Russian Federation investigation, they are raising a far more urgent cry for him to schedule the outstanding hearings - and quickly, so they can get the House investigation back on track.

All meetings of the House Russia investigators were canceled this week shortly before the top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Nunes must recuse himself in order for the investigation to continue. He then went to the White House to brief the president on what he had seen, leaving the rest of the House intelligence committee members in the dark.

"Mr. Kushner will certainly not be the last person the committee calls to give testimony, but we expect him to be able to provide answers to key questions that have arisen in our inquiry", the chairman, Sen.

"I wish Senator Schumer and some of the other Democrats would be interested in the authenticity and reliability of the underlying data [rather than] the means by which it was acquired", Gowdy said.