Devin Nunes Cleared Of Wrongdoing Following Ethics Committee Probe

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

Both this House and the American people would undoubtedly benefit from such an act of transparency and accountability to bolster confidence that partisanship does not infect the Ethics Committee's investigations.

The US House of Representatives Ethics Committee on Thursday cleared the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee of charges that he had disclosed classified information, potentially clearing the way for him to resume leadership of the panel's Russian Federation investigation.

Nunes held a press conference April 6 at the Capitol to publicly talk about the information, before returning to the White House to brief Trump. In a statement, the panel said intelligence experts had concluded the information Nunes disclosed was not classified, so it would take no further action and the matter was closed.

In the course of this investigation, the Committee sought the analysis of Representative Nunes's statements by classification experts in the intelligence community.

Still, in a text message Thursday, Nunes said, "I'm the chairman".

Democrats and progressive groups accused Nunes at the time of leaking classified information.

"The disclosure of this information by Chairman Nunes was evidently meant to try to lend some credence to President Trump' claims that former President Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped - claims that have been repeatedly been shown to be absolutely baseless, as confirmed by FBI Director Comey in his testimony before Chairman Nunes' own committee", MoveOn.org's ethics complaint read.

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The Tulare Republican is the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is leading the investigation into Russia's alleged interference with the 2016 election.

Bowing to pressure, however, he ceded control of the Intelligence Committee's investigation to Republican Reps.

The California Republican hailed news of the probe ending Thursday, while blasting the panel for not issuing a decision sooner.

After learning of the investigation, Nunes announced he would step away from the House's investigation amid a firestorm of intense scrutiny and media coverage.

Nunes, in a written response Thursday, said the allegations against him were "obviously frivolous" and were filed by "left-wing activist groups".

Nunes also said he was dismayed that the investigation took an "unbelievable" eight months to complete, and that it was conducted by the full committee outside of its typical process, which includes a non-partisan staff review of complaints before they are taken up by the committee.

In his statement, he called on the committee "to publicly release all its transcripts related to my case", while noting that he was "concerned by public statements made by four of the Ethics Committee's five Democrats that appeared to prejudge this matter before they began investigating the complaint".

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