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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.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MarkedMan says:

    Nunes behavior in this has been very odd from the start. Although it is to be expected at this point that any Republican led investigation will be a sham and a farce, Nunes has been going much farther than just running the usual circus. He seems to be actively helping the Trump cartel to cover up, perhaps putting himself in legal jeopardy in the process. Why? Why is he tying himself so irrevocably to Trump?

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  2. JKB says:

    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,

    Doug, try to keep up. It has already been confirmed that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of US individuals caught in legal conversations with Russian, and possibly other, foreign nationals, under US intelligence surveillance. Such orders would be in the White House files, as well as at the agencies.

    The current MSM meme is that Rice had to order the unmasking, not whether she did the unmasking.

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  3. James Pearce says:

    Well, sounds like they found the leaker….

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  4. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    It has already been confirmed that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of US individuals caught in legal conversations with Russian, and possibly other, foreign nationals, under US intelligence surveillance.

    Based on this comment, kinda think you’re not quite sure what “unmasking” means….

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  5. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    That is a lie.

    Susan Rice did no such thing, and the demotion of Bannon and this recusal prove the point.

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  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    Dang it, my hopes are getting up.

    Politicians going to jail always makes me happy.

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  7. Argon says:

    Don’t worry. Gowdy and Conaway are stepping up to maintain Nunes’ tradition of active distraction from the key issue.

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  8. al-Alameda says:

    @JKB:

    Doug, try to keep up. It has already been confirmed that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of US individuals caught in legal conversations with Russian, and possibly other, foreign nationals, under US intelligence surveillance. Such orders would be in the White House files, as well as at the agencies.

    Seriously, you should try some non-alt.fact-based media.
    Susan Rice had, in her role as an NSA, the ability to ask that she review specific unmasked intelligence data. By the way, as does every NSA to any president.

    It is very interesting and telling that It bothers conservatives and Trump apologists more that Susan Rice reviewed unmasked intelligence that showed Trump associates to be in communication with Russians, than it does that some Trump associates have been found to be in communication with Russians and have not disclosed that.

    This administration has a problem that will not go away soon, no matter how much they attempt to lie, distract, and dissemble, and impugn Susan Rice or Barack Obama.

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  9. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Alameda:

    It is very interesting and telling that It bothers conservatives and Trump apologists more that Susan Rice reviewed unmasked intelligence that showed Trump associates to be in communication with Russians, than it does that some Trump associates have been found to be in communication with Russians and have not disclosed that.

    The Trump crime family are not clever criminals. Trump isn’t exactly Vito Corleone. He’s not even Nixon. This is a laughable cover-up – no one even knows how to play innocent.

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