The role of Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in the investigation looking into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election has been has been criticized for months, but recently, his friendliness with the president and his team, as well as suspicious incidents involving Nunes, has fueled a huge number of calls for the chairman to recuse himself. A petition on MoveOn.org asking for Nunes' removal from the House Intelligence Committee has over 150,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
"Last week, U.S. Representative Devin Nunes — a member of Donald Trump's transition team and chair of the House Intelligence Committee — disclosed possible information about alleged White House surveillance to members of the press and the White House, prior to sharing it with members of his own committee," reads the petition. "Additionally, the day before Rep. Nunes addressed the news media about these claims, he held a secret meeting at the White House with the source of the allegations. This is partisan obstruction of justice. The interests of our country are being threatened by partisan politics. Rep. Nunes appears to be in collusion with Trump to protect him from the investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia."
In addition to the tens of thousands who've signed the petition, leading Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, have asked Nunes to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have become known as the two GOP members most willing to openly criticize the Trump administration, didn't ask for his recusal but did insist that he should reveal his surveillance source. "I think there needs to be a lot of explaining to do,” McCain said during an appearance on CBS This Morning. "I’ve been around for quite a while and I’ve never heard of such thing."
In response to demands that he step down, Nunes insisted his colleagues "have no problems" with the way the investigation is being conducted and asserted that he would be moving forward with the probe. "I'd like to know, first, what the purpose of that would be. Because someone asks?" he told reporters when asked about the calls that he recuse himself.
House Speaker Paul Ryan came to Nunes' defense on Tuesday during a press conference, answering the questions of whether he feels Nunes should step down from the investigation and if he knows who Nunes' surveillance source with the short response, "No and no."
If you'd like to put pressure on the White House regarding Nunes' participation in the Russia probe, signing the petition on MoveOn is a good way to start.