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Devin Nunes to Step Aside from Russia Investigation Amid Ethics Questions

Recusal comes as progressive groups accuse him of violating Espionage Act for making statements supporting president's wiretap claims

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is stepping down as the House Ethics Committee investigates claims that he disclosed intelligence without proper authorization. (Photo: AP)

Update:

Jo Comerford, campaign director for MoveOn.org Civic Action—one of the groups that filed an ethics complaint against Nunes—said his recusal "is another important step forward for the rule of law and is a people-powered victory for the resistance—but it does not go far enough."

"Amid the near-constant drumbeat of news related to the Trump/Russia scandal, Congress must create a special, independent commission to lead an investigation, and the administration should appoint a special prosecutor charged with getting at the truth about Trump and his associates’ possible collusion with Russia," Comerford said. "In announcing his resignation, Nunes claimed that 'false' ethics complaints filed by public interest groups were the reason he is stepping down. But in doing so, Nunes failed to rebut any of the allegations or dispute any of the facts included in those complaints, including the complaint filed by MoveOn, which raises real and serious concerns about potential violations of law by Nunes."

"We will hold other Republicans who attempt to thwart real, independent investigations accountable," she said.

Earlier:

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will temporarily step aside from the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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

Nunes is stepping down as the House Ethics Committee investigates claims that he disclosed intelligence without proper authorization.

Progressive groups accused him of violating the Espionage Act and House rules "in his quest to assist President [Donald] Trump politically" after Nunes made a secret visit to the White House, where he reportedly met with administration officials who gave him classified information, and made comments seemingly intended to support Trump's claim that he had been spied on by intelligence agencies at the behest of former President Barack Obama.

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