Lawmaker: House Intelligence Committee Is 'Absolute Poison'

Sources say committee will physically separate staffers based on political party
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2018 1:45 PM CST
GOP Lawmakers Will Finally Build the Wall. Not That One
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes walks to a GOP conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Republicans are finally going to build the wall. No, not that wall. Sources tell CBS News that Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee are planning to erect a "physical partition" in the spring to keep Democratic and Republican staffers separated. Some sources suggest the wall is the idea of Republican chairman Devin Nunes, and it's not going over well with the committee's highest-ranking Democratic member. "The important oversight work of the committee continues with our staff working together irrespective of party. This would be a very destructive decision," says Rep. Adam Schiff, who adds that separating staff "would be a terrible mistake."

The report caught a number of Republican members of the committee off guard. "I swear to God I didn't know that," Rep. Tom Rooney says. "The level of trust and the level of everything down there is—it's poison. It's absolute poison down there." He says one of the reasons for that is an investigation into the "entire Republican staff" over leaks. The Office of Congressional Ethics isn't commenting on any such investigation. Meanwhile, ABC News reports calls for Nunes to step down are increasing, with Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell saying the harm he's doing to the House Intelligence Committee—particularly by releasing the FBI/Carter Page memo—is "irreparable." (More House Intelligence Committee stories.)

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