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 House Intel Chairman Nunes to Step Down From Russia Probe... Developing...

House Intel Chairman Nunes to Step Down From Russia Probe... Developing...

POLITICO --

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will temporarily step aside from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including interactions between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The probe will be taken over by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.).

Nunes will remain chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

In a statement, Nunes blamed complaints filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics over his decision to brief President Donald Trump on intelligence intercepts of conversations between Trump campaign aide and Russian officials during the election.

But the House Ethics Committee is also looking into the issue, according to multiple sources, a potentially more serious problem for Nunes.

“Several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics," Nunes said in a statement Thursday. "The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power."

Nunes added: "Despite the baselessness of the charges, I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress for me to have Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, temporarily take charge of the Committee’s Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee looks into this matter. I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, and I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims.”

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