House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes says he is temporarily stepping aside from the committee's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as the House Ethics Committee opens an inquiry into whether he improperly disclosed classified information...
The Office of Congressional Ethics, or OCE, would not comment on whether it was pursing an investigation. But the House Ethics Committee — a more powerful ethics group — said in a statement it was opening a review of Nunes' actions. The committee only considers complaints filed or endorsed by House members and can recommend punishments...
Nunes calls the accusations against him "entirely false" and said they were filed by "leftwing activist groups."
The congressman has been under growing criticism for his handling of the Russian inquiry. Many on Capitol Hill have said he is too eager to do the White House’s bidding and cannot be an impartial investigator into questions about any role President Trump’s associates may have had in last year’s Russian campaign to disrupt the election...
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Thursday said he supported the decision by Representative Devin Nunes, the the Intelligence Committee chairman who is now the subject of an ethics probe, to step aside from leading the House investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. Watch in Times Video »
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat, praised the call by his Republican counterpart, Devin Nunes, to step down from the investigation into Russia’s part in the 2016 presidential election, a panel that Mr. Schiff said was of "critical importance." Watch in Times Video »
Stewarding the House’s investigation now falls to [Rep. Michael] Conaway, 68, who also serves as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and has a reputation on Capitol Hill as a quiet and diligent lawmaker. Conaway pledged do conduct the investigation “in a very strong, workmanlike manner, expeditiously” — and to “working with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to get it done.”
But Conaway is also a Trump supporter, and on various occasions, has sought to sow doubt about the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections with the intention of helping Trump’s candidacy.
A major part of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees’ probes involves potential links between members of Trump’s campaign and transition teams and Russian officials. But when FBI Director James B. Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers endorsed that finding before the House Intelligence Committee in an open hearing last month, Conaway questioned the intelligence community’s rationale and logic behind that conclusion.
Statement of the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Devin Nunes