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"He is frankly over his head. I think he used very poor judgment," Jackie Speier says

Democrats are calling on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation

CNN —  

A Democrat on the House intelligence committee said Tuesday she wants the panel’s chairman, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, to resign his chairmanship over his handling of the investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Nunes infuriated Democrats last week when he told the press and the White House – before informing his Democratic colleagues on the panel – that he saw evidence that President Donald Trump’s advisers may have been swept up in surveillance of other foreign nationals. He then revealed Monday that he visited the White House grounds to view sensitive information the day before going to the President with the evidence.

“I don’t trust him,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” on Tuesday. “I think he’s a very nice man. I think he is frankly over his head. I think he used very poor judgment, and I think he’s tainted the committee.”

Nunes’ integrity is compromised so significantly that he needs to step down, Speier said.

“I don’t think he can just recuse himself and still chair the committee,” she said. “I think that the writing is on the wall. It might make a good spy novel. It doesn’t make a good investigation.”

Nunes, who was on the Trump transition team executive committee, told CNN’s Manu Raju later Tuesday that he was “moving forward” with the investigation despite the calls to recuse himself. On Monday, he defended his handling of the investigation as well as his relationship to the White House in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“The Congress has not been given this information, these documents, and that’s the problem,” Nunes said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “There was no way I could view that because they couldn’t get it to the House intelligence committee.”

Speier, however, said she believes Nunes got his information from a source affiliated with the White House.

“He’s violated the first principle of an investigation. It has to be independent,” she said. “If you become a White House whisperer, you are not independent.”

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, gave Nunes a vote of confidence later Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I have great confidence in Devin Nunes,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “He’s careful with what he says. He never shoots from the hip. He shoots accurately.”