Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes' staff could have collaborated with the White House on the controversial Republican-drafted memo that alleges surveillance abuses committed by the Department of Justice and FBI against a former Trump campaign aide.
“I think it’s very possible his staff worked with the White House and coordinated the whole effort with the White House because it looks so much like this earlier effort, which we know was coordinated with the White House by the same chairman, who has said he would recuse himself but of course hasn't," Schiff, the top Democrat on the panel, told ABC.
Does @RepAdamSchiff believe @DevinNunes’ staff worked with the White House on the House GOP memo? He tells @GStephanopoulos “I think it’s very possible his staff worked with the White House and coordinated the whole effort with the White House.” #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/7aA8BNxKSc— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 4, 2018
Nunes, R-Calif., denied working with the White House on the four-page document, according to a transcript of a meeting in which the committee voted along party lines to make the report public.
However, per the same transcript, he would not respond to a question posed by Democratic colleague Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., concerning whether any of his staff consulted with the West Wing.
In March 2017, Nunes visited the White House to advise the administration raw intelligence information revealed members of the Trump transition team had been incidentally caught in legal surveillance of foreign agents.
In the aftermath, Nunes recused himself from leading the House's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but continued to be actively involved in the probe.
Nunes' memo outlines possible abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before the court that decides applications to gather information on various targets. The DOJ and FBI did not disclose that it was prompted to look into former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page by the unverified Trump-Russia dossier, which was partly paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
While Trump lauded Nunes' memo for vindicating him from any speculation of collusion with the Kremlin, Schiff on Sunday said Trump's support of releasing the classified document “could be evidence of the president’s intent to interfere with [special counsel Robert Mueller’s] investigation.”