The two committees have not been particular fans of each other, but new allegations have stepped up the animosity, as the Senate Intelligence Committee has alleged House Republican's leaked a Senator's text messages to Fox News. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat, were so perturbed by the leak that they demanded a rare meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., last month.
But in January, a Nunes staffer requested copies for the House panel, "a person familiar with the request who was not authorized to talk about it publicly" told the newspaper. Marco Rubio both came to Warner's defense following the Fox report, with Rubio tweeting that Warner had "fully disclosed" the texts to the committee and that it had "zero impact" on the panel's work. Ryan's spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said the speaker "heard the senators on their concerns and encouraged them to take them up directly with their counterparts". As part of those efforts, Warner contacted attorney Adam Waldman, who is reportedly close to Steele.
The documents published by Fox News appear to back up the senators' accusation.
Days later, however, the texts were published by Fox, disclosing only that it had obtained them "from a Republican source", the Times reported. Nevertheless, Trump seized on the shell of a controversy to attempt to discredit the investigations into the role Russian Federation played in influencing the 2016 election. "I'm not sure if this coverage could possibly get more absurd". "They used the meeting with Mr. Ryan to raise broader concerns about the direction of the House Intelligence Committee under its chairman, Representative Devin Nunes of California, the officials said".
In October, Waldman provided the Senate panel with documents detailing the messages' content, according to a person familiar with the matter, who noted the documents Waldman turned over included page numbers.
Copies of the texts had been submitted to the Senate committee by the lawyer who messaged with Warner, Adam Waldman. Last month, Nunes pushed for the publication of a controversial memo he authored alleging the Justice Department and FBI were intentionally misleading in their investigation into Russian meddling and connections to President Donald Trump's campaign.
Fox News published the texts on February 8, days after they were leaked and shortly following the release by House Intelligence Republicans of their memo alleging surveillance abuses by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department in its Russian meddling probe.
While Nunes' leak bothered Republican Sen. His handling of classified information with respect to the "unmasking" scandal he tried to gin up in tandem with the White House was investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, which cleared him of wrongdoing in December.
The speaker responded that he would not intervene in their dispute with the House Intelligence Committee.