Manchin: Nunes neutered confidence in House Intel

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed disdain for the hyper-partisanship on the House Intelligence Committee, saying House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes has "neutered" the people's confidence in the committee.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 7:15 PM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 7:18 PM

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, has "neutered" the House Intelligence Committee's ability to inspire confidence in the public, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin said Thursday on "Cuomo Primetime."

In a party-line vote on Monday, the committee moved to release a controversial memo authored by Nunes that accuses the FBI of abusing surveillance powers. Release of the memo is now in President Donald Trump's hands. While the President is on track to authorizing it, the FBI continues to have "grave concerns" over the memo's release, an official familiar with the FBI stance told CNN.

Manchin criticized Nunes' secretive handling of the memo. Manchin told CNN's Chris Cuomo that Republican members of the committee would not allow him or his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee to see the memo -- including Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina.

Nunes' committee determined that he should not be involved in the Russia investigation due to his conflicts of interest as a member of the President's transition team, Manchin said.

"He comes back and starts this own investigation on his own, and he won't even reveal his sources," he said.

"They're working in this House intelligence strictly on partisan participation," Manchin added. "That is not how the intelligence committee on either side has been set up."

"He has neutered the confidence that people could ever have in the House Intelligence Committee," he said.

He said that "something's wrong" if you see something coming on a partisan basis out of three committees: Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Intel.

"If anything comes out of the Intelligence or Armed Services that's not bipartisan, don't believe it," Manchin said. "They're playing politics."

In contrast to their House Intelligence counterparts, Manchin said, the Senate Intelligence Committee under Burr and Ranking Member Democrat Sen. Mark Warner are "basically working together."

Manchin said earlier in the day that "Washington sucks," after Vice President Mike Pence criticized him for not voting for the tax bill in December.

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