Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Russia investigation, called on House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation in a stunning split between the two top investigators.
"After much consideration, and in light of the Chairman's admission that he met with his source of information at the White House, I believe that the Chairman should recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russia investigation, as well as any involvement in oversight of matters pertaining to any incidental collection of the Trump transition, as he was also a key member of the transition team," Schiff said in a statement Monday, following a meeting of the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.
The request marks a critical split between Schiff and Nunes, who had worked closely on the House investigation into ties between top aides to the campaign of President Donald Trump and Russian officials.
It comes just hours after CNN reported that Nunes visited the White House grounds one day before going to the President with evidence that his transition aides' communications were picked up in surveillance by US intelligence.
"This is not a recommendation I make lightly, as the chairman and I have worked together well for several years; and I take this step with the knowledge of the solemn responsibility we have on the Intelligence Committee to provide oversight on all intelligence matters, not just to conduct the investigation," Schiff said Monday.
Nunes defended his handling of the investigation as well as his relationship to the White House during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
"The Congress has not been given this information, these documents, and that's the problem," Nunes said on CNN's "The Situation Room," explaining why he went to the White House. "This is Executive Branch."