BREAKING: Ethics Scandal! Devin Nunes OFF Russiagate probe
Rep. Devin Nunes is reportedly in deep hot water:
[H]e is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly disclosing intelligence without proper authorization.
“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,” Nunes said in a statement, adding that the allegations against him are “baseless.”
The Ethics Committee is truly bipartisan, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. The 18(a) investigation, as its known, has subpoena power and may also look into what Nunes told Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump when he briefed them following his March 22 press conference.
“The committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” it said in a statement.
NBC News reports that House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes has agreed to withdraw completely from the Russiagate probe but will chair all other matters. Republicans have named three members to cover the Russiagate probe, including Reps. Mike Conaway, Tom Rooney, and (naturally) notorious obsessive Benghazi! investigator and Pee-Wee Herman lookalike Trey Gowdy. Raw Story recalled this bit of fail from Conaway’s mouth:
Conaway said in January that Russian agents acting on orders by Vladimir Putin to help elect President Donald Trump were no different than Latino entertainers who appeared at campaign events for Hillary Clinton.
“Harry Reid and the Democrats brought in Mexican soap opera stars, singers and entertainers who had immense influence in those communities into Las Vegas, to entertain, get out the vote and so forth,” Conaway told the Dallas Morning News. “Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that.”
CNN reports the move is “temporary”:
Nunes cited a series of ethics complaints filed against him alleging that he violated terms of discussing classified material following his clandestine meeting at the White House just over two weeks ago.
“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,” Nunes, a California Republican, said in a statement.
He added, “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.”
The New York Times adds:
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.
This is consistent with the observation by many political analysts who have noted that Nunes’s apparent collusion with White House officials to cherry-pick and stovepipe “intelligence” completely destroyed Nunes’s reputation and credibility.