Sen. Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer: Ryan shoud replace Nunes on Intel chair Andrew Cuomo 2020? Democrats should say 'Fugetaboutit' Dems delay Senate panel vote on Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday stepped up his criticism of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, calling on House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanA celebration for Dems? Not so fast. The resistance is working as Republicans pull healthcare bill Schumer: Ryan shoud replace Nunes on Intel chair MORE to replace him.
"Without further ado, Speaker Ryan should replace Chairman Nunes," the Senate minority leader said from the floor. "If Speaker Ryan wants the House to have a credible investigation, he needs to replace Chairman Nunes."
Nunes caused an uproar last week when he told the press that he had seen intelligence showing that members of President Trump's transition team had been caught up in surveillance operations — without first discussing the information with fellow committee members. He later briefed Trump on the information.
On Monday, Nunes confirmed that he was on White House grounds the day before the announcement, further raising speculation that the information he saw originated from within the administration.
Schumer argued on Monday that Nunes is acting like someone who wants to protect Trump even though his committee is investigating Russia's meddling in the White House race, including any potential ties between the campaign and Moscow.
"Chairman Nunes is falling down on the job and seems to be more interested in protecting the president than in seeking the truth. You cannot have the person in charge of an impartial investigation be partial to one side. It's an inherent contradiction," Schumer added.
Schumer's comments on Monday afternoon are a marked shift from late last week, when he raised the idea of Nunes being ousted from the committee in less forceful terms.
Democrats don't have the ability to make Nunes step down, and Ryan has given no public hint that he's considering asking him to hand over his gavel.
But Democrats slammed Nunes for briefing Trump without first speaking to their panel. Democrats on the committee say they still have not seen intelligence to back up Nunes's claims.
Nunes has defended his decision to not share his information with Democrats, saying he is protecting his source and separately saying that he had a "duty and an obligation" to brief Trump.