The House Intelligence Committee has invited officials to testify at both private and public hearings in its probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, following partisan tumult within the panel in recent weeks.
The committee asked FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to appear at a closed hearing on May 2. The House panel also invited former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-acting Attorney General Sally Yates to appear at a public hearing that will be scheduled later.
The news comes after embattled GOP House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., recused himself from the investigation earlier this month. Nunes previously canceled the public hearing at which Brennan, Clapper and Yates were set to testify.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the committee’s ranking member who had criticized Nunes for his actions in the investigation, tweeted Friday that the probe is “back on track.” Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas has taken over the investigation from Nunes.
At the committee’s first public hearing in March, Comey confirmed that the FBI was conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russian influence on the election, including any possible ties between President Donald Trump‘s campaign and Moscow.
Trump has denied any collusion with the Russian government, and previously questioned whether the Russians intervened in the election at all.
Nunes’ decision to step back from the Russia probe came as the House Ethics Committee confirmed it was looking into allegations that Nunes “may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.”
Critics also questioned the independence of Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team, after he admitted that he visited the White House a day before he announced that Trump associates may have had their communications “incidentally” swept up in routine foreign surveillance.
Nunes has defended his conduct, calling the charges that he may have shared classified information “entirely false and politically motivated.”
The panel’s chairman had focused largely on looking into whether Trump transition members caught up in U.S. surveillance of other targets were “unmasked,” or had their identities revealed.
Yates, the former acting attorney general, warned the White House in January that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail after he made incorrect statements about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn resigned in February, which the White House said was due to the contradictory statements he made to Vice President Mike Pence.
Last month, the White House forcefully denied reports that it tried to bar Yates from testifying before the House panel. At the time, press secretary Sean Spicer said “I hope she testifies.”