House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes has been facing a lot of pressure lately about his handling of the Russia investigation and it has apparently gotten to be too much.
Nunes announced on Thursday that he will be “stepping aside” from the investigation for the moment and that Mike Conaway and Republicans Reps. Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney will now be the ones at the helm of the Russia probe. Nunes will still carry out all his roles as the committee chairman but will not be involved in the Russia probe until the accusations against him which he mentioned as “fake” are cleared.
The official statement by Nunes read:
“Several leftwing 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.”
This announcement by Nunes came on the same day that the House Ethics Committee stated that they were now investigating the claims that Nunes “may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.”
At the moment, many top democrats believe that Nunes is compromised. There are a couple reasons why they think so but one famous one was his supposed “secret” visit to the White House a day before he made the announcement saying that there was evidence of possible incidental surveillance on Trump and his transition team. What made it even worse was that he made the announcement without informing Rep. Adam Schiff who is among the panel’s highest-ranking democrats.
This came on top of the suspicion that Nunes “revealed classified information” about the committee’s investigation into Russia and their interference in the US election.
Now, whether or not these accusations against Nunes are true it is quite difficult for him to move forward with his credibility intact.
So, in the end, Nunes decided to step aside from the investigation until all the accusations are cleared.
Schiff believes that Nunes’decision to step down is in the “best interest” of the investigation.