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Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down

Head of Trump-Russia probe under fire, won't step down”

The letter was sent on the same day that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes canceled a previously scheduled hearing where Yates was scheduled to testify about ties between Trump advisers and Russian officials.

The chairman of the house intelligence committee, Devin Nunes is defending himself against pressure from democrats to step aside from his committee's Russian Federation probe. John McCain (R-Ariz.) questioned Nunes' credibility and the House Intelligence Committee's ability to conduct its investigation.

But Nunes can not say whether Trump or any of the president's associates personally participated in the communications that were intercepted, meaning it's possible that the information he's citing merely refers to foreign officials talking about Trump transition team members.

Nunes' White House meeting - in which he is said to have met a confidential source - raised further questions about his independence from the Trump administration.

After reviewing the information last week, Nunes called a news conference to announce that USA spy agencies may have inadvertently captured Trump and his associates in routine targeting of foreigners' communications.

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Trump has used Nunes' revelations to defend his unproven claim that Barack Obama tapped phones at Trump Tower.

House committee chairman Devin Nunes announced he was canceling the meeting on March 24, one of several moves by him that have sparked outrage from Democrats on the committee.

O'Neil then wrote to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, saying that he believed any privilege had been waived as a result of past White House statements and that Yates planned to testify unless he heard back from McGahn.

On Tuesday, Nunes declined to say if the White House had asked him to cancel the hearing. "There was no legitimate justification for bringing that information to the White House instead of the committee".

The issue of Yates's testimony adds to the political controversy surrounding the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Russian meddling in last year's election and any possible coordination between Trump associates and Moscow.

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"There is no letter from the White House because Yates attorney's letter clearly states a non-response will be seen as the White House not asserting executive privilege", the official said.

Of course White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denies the motivation for the cancellation, but did say that he "looks forward" to future testimony from Yates.

Nunes told reporters Tuesday he would not step down from the investigation in Russian interference during the USA election.

During his press briefing Tuesday, Spicer said of Yates: "I hope she testifies". Politico reports Nunes told NBC News, "We're beginning to figure out who's actually serious about the investigation because it appears like the Democrats aren't really serious about this investigation".

The House, the Senate and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are looking into Russian meddling in the election.

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Last week he briefed Mr Trump on documents detailing surveillance of Mr Trump's team without discussing it with committee members.



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