Calls are mounting for Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes to recuse himself from an ongoing investigation into the alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina became the first member of the GOP to urge Nunes to step down on March 28, The Hill reported.
Pressure has been building on the California Republican after he revealed he viewed secret evidence at the White House, which he alleges proved President Donald Trump and his campaign team were inadvertently monitored during the transition period.
Jones said Nunes should "absolutely" step aside from the position of committee chairman.
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"How can you be chairman of a major committee and do all these things behind the scenes and keep your credibility? You can't keep your credibility," said Jones, according to The Hill.
He added: "If anything has shown that we need a commission, this has done it by the way he has acted. That's the only way you can bring integrity to the process. The integrity of the committee looking into this has been tainted."
Trump commented that Nunes' evidence of surveillance left him feeling "somewhat vindicated." Trump first alleged March 4 in a tweet that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is continuing to back Nunes. Asked if he knew who Nunes' source for the evidence was and whether Nunes should step down as House Intelligence Committee chairman, Ryan responded, "No and no," according to USA Today.
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"I don't care what Mr. Ryan says. That's his right to feel that way. I know how the people out here feel," Jones said. "When you have a committee chairman that bypasses the committee and goes to the White House, when you have a president that has a cloud over their head, that's not smart."
Jones' comments came after Nunes assured reporters that Republicans "are perfectly fine" with him carrying on in his position.
"Why would I not?" he added in response to a question on whether he would remain as chairman of the committee, USA Today reported.
Democrats have increased their demands for Nunes to go. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said it would be "very difficult" to conduct a credible investigation otherwise.
"Told press Devin Nunes disqualified himself from presiding over House Intelligence Cmte investigation. We need an independent commission," Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland wrote on Twitter.