White House Denies it Sought to Prevent Sally Yates' Testimony

He said committee staff members have been provided with an "unprecedented amount" of documents, including some that, up until now, have been shared only with the so-called Gang of Eight - the Republican and Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate and the four leaders of the intelligence committees plus their staff directors.

The White House said the report was "entirely false" without addressing specific claims that Yates was warned her testimony could include privileged information that would be barred from a public hearing.

Nunes said he was on White House grounds, but not in the White House itself, for meetings "to confirm what I already knew", and he claimed that no one in the White House knew he was there.

Toobin added that this is "the language that spies use".

More connections to Russia: Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser-also met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign; Roger Stone, another former adviser with long ties to Trump, has Russian connections; and, most significant as of late, former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort-he worked in secret with a Russian billionaire to influence American policy to the benefit of Putin in the mid-2000s and just a few years ago worked in clandestine efforts as a lobbyist for Ukraine's pro-Russian faction.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is leading a separate probe into alleged Russian ties to the Trump campaign. "This guy is so far out of his depth, he has no idea what he's doing".

Yates was forced to step down after refusing to enact Trump's Muslim travel ban.

A congressional investigation into alleged Russian government meddling in the 2016 US presidential election ground to a halt Tuesday over the contested actions of a committee chairman and an attempt by the Justice Department to limit the testimony of a key witness. He previously served on Trump's transition team.

"You may have heard that it appears either the White House or the Justice Department was trying to preclude Sally Yates from testifying", Warner told reporters in a gaggle inside the Capitol, referring to a Washington Post report saying the White House tried to prevent Yates from testifying before the House Intelligence Committee this week.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer strongly pushed back against the report on Tuesday, calling it "100% false".

'An outside foreign adversary effectively sought to hijack our most critical democratic process - the election of the president - and in the process made a decision to favor one candidate over another, ' Warner said. "You can't keep your credibility", Jones said. "The White House isn't stopping her".

Other Democrat members of the committee, including Mr Swalwell's fellow California representative Adam Schiff, have also called for Mr Nunes to recuse himself in light of the revelations.

"It's irregular, to be benign about it, to have a lead investigator kibitzing with the people being investigated", said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.

"Told press Devin Nunes disqualified himself from presiding over House Intelligence Cmte investigation".

"It's the same thing as always around this place - a lot of politics, people get heated, but I'm not going to involve myself with that", he said.

  • Annette Adams