House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes steps down from Russian Federation probe

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

On Thursday morning, April 6, 2017, House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, stated he is removing himself, temporarily, from the investigation of Russian Federation interfering with the 2016 election.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, said he is turning over his role as leader of the investigation to Conaway, R-Midland, the second-ranking member of the full intelligence committee.

Nunes cited a series of ethics complaints filed against him alleging that he violated terms of discussing classified material following his clandestine meeting at the White House just over two weeks ago. They accuse him of biasing himself by appearing too close to the White House after President Donald Trump accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of tapping his phones.

"The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee", the House Ethics Committee said in a statement today.

This isn't much of a win for opponents of Nunes's investigation: Gowdy and Rooney are both seasoned at probing the Obama Administration, and Gowdy led the charge against Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

"Several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics".

Nunes said he will continue to run other committee activities and has asked to speak to the Ethics Committee as soon as possible in hopes of having the claims against him dismissed.

Mr Nunes did not disclose details of the allegations.

Questions about his impartiality and conduct has seen California House Representative Devin Nunes to step down from the House intelligence committee's investigation into Russian meddling in the United States election.

EWING: What Nunes said in a statement this morning is that there have been, in his view, scurrilous or unreasonable complaints about this incident in the House Ethics Committee, and he can't continue to lead this process and fight those charges at the same time. "I'm sure it was a very hard decision for him but, as he mentioned, I do think it's in the best interest of the investigation", he said to ABC News.

The top Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff of California, said he appreciated Nunes' decision to step aside from the Russian Federation investigation. President Trump has offered to show the documents to the rest of the Intelligence Committee, but Schiff has said White House staff are fighting its release.

The Russia investigation intersected with the president's claims on March 22, when Nunes gave that press conference and said he had seen classified data showing "incidental collection" of Trump associates during the transition. Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell also told CNN that he [had] confidence in Conaway's abilities to lead an unbiased investigation.

The California Republican said he would continue to serve as the panel's chairman, while Republican Representative Mike Conaway of Texas will replace him in overseeing the Russian Federation inquiry.

Gowdy is also a member of the House Ethics Committee. He called the charges "false and politically motivated".

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