Nunes Recuses Himself From Russia Investigation
Devin Nunes, the California Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee has removed himself from the committee’s investigation into the Russian interference in the Presidential election and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia during the campaign:
WASHINGTON — Representative Devin Nunes, the embattled California Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, announced on Thursday he would step aside from leading his committee’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s presidential election.
His announcement was made on the same morning that the House Committee on Ethics said Mr. Nunes was under investigation because of public reports that he “may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.”
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.
Mr. Nunes came under fire last month after he announced that he believed Mr. Trump or members of his transition team may have been “incidentally” caught up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies. He cited “dozens” of intelligence reports he described as classified, which The New York Times later revealed had been provided to him by White House office.
As noted, Nunes has been under a cloud of controversy ever since the incident in which he allegedly received information from the White House that he claimed supported his contention that individuals from the Trump campaign had been incidentally caught up in routine monitoring of the phone calls of unnamed Russian officials, presumably including the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Other members of the committee also accused him of becoming an advocate for the White House rather than remaining impartial and said that the committee’s ability to investigate the matter further had been compromised due to his actions. Whether or not this clears up that controversy remains unclear, but at the very least this should mean that the House Intelligence Committee will be able to move forward with its investigation if not in tandem with the Senate Intelligence Committee then at least along parallel lines.