House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Wednesday reversed his opposition to a congressional probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
In a joint statement issued with ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Nunes said his panel’s investigation into “active measures” taken by the Russian government to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election includes “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”
While the statement doesn’t mention a specific campaign, several unconfirmed reports allege ties between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. Multiple media outlets have reported on the existence of a federal intelligence investigation, led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, into possible ties between Trump campaign’s and the Russian government.
FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly refused to publicly confirm the investigation’s existence, angering some lawmakers.
Nunes previously said his committee would not be investigating those alleged relationships. “House committees don’t go operational like that, that I know of,” Nunes told Politico on Jan. 13, calling those questions “a law enforcement issue.”
Nunes is the second congressional committee chairman overseeing national security matters to reverse course. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told reporters on Jan. 12 that his panel does not have jurisdiction to investigate ties between political campaigns and a foreign government. A day later he issued a joint statement with ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) saying the committee’s investigation would include a probe into “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”
The joint statement from Nunes and Schiff urges the U.S. intelligence community to “fully and promptly” turn over all documents requested by the committee pertaining to Russian interference.
“It will not be adequate to review these documents, expected to be in the thousands of pages, at the agencies,” the lawmakers said. “They should be delivered to the House Intelligence Committee to provide members adequate time to examine their content.”