California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, has announced that he will temporarily step away from the committee.
In a statement, Nunes had this to say:
“Several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics. 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.
“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.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also commented on the move by Nunes, saying he supports him and adding:
“In the meantime, it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election. Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision.”
Nunes came under fire when he paid a late-night visit to the White House to view classified information which he alleges showed that members of the Trump team had been surveilled by the Obama administration. However, Nunes never shared that information with other members of the Intelligence Committee.
Congressman Mike Conaway will serve as the interim chair of the committee.
Featured Image Via CNN