House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes steps down from Russian Federation probe

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke Thursday after a closed-door committee meeting that was attended by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Schiff said Thursday that it would allow the Russian Federation probe to get "fully back on track".

The move by Mr Nunes could be seen as a win for Democrats whose cries for an independent panel to investigate Russia's possible ties with the Trump campaign have grown.

"I did have plenty reason to think that [Nunes] should not be in that role, both because of his role in the Trump transition and because of his erratic and weird behavior as chairman of the committee".

The intelligence committees in both the House and Senate, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have been investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible ties with the Trump campaign.

So it's hardly surprising that Nunes may have landed himself in hot water.

Democrats have criticized Nunes for being too close to Trump.

His nonfeasance became possible malfeasance with a cloak-and-dagger visit to the White House last month.

Pelosi called on Trump to "declassify the basis" of his comment and said, "It's time for him to be president, to be the manager".

And his views on who may have influenced the outcome of the 2016 election are unique, to say the least. "How low can you go?" Reports have said he obtained the documents from White House officials, despite his claims to the contrary.

"Our goal was to get the investigations done", Spicer said, adding that Nunes' decision won't change that.

Jordan Libowitz is spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Representative Mike Conaway, the most senior Republican on the intelligence committee, will now lead the probe.

Nunes then briefed President Trump without first disclosing his information to the committee's ranking member, California Rep. Adam Schiff, or other members of the committee. "I'm sure it was a very hard decision for him but, as he mentioned, I do think it's in the best interest of the investigation", he said to ABC News.

Nunes, for his part, blamed MoveOn.org and others in his resignation letter, calling them "leftwing activist groups" and the investigation "entirely false and politically motivated".

The California Republican's decision comes amid partisan turmoil on the committee. In sum, Congressman Nunes revealed to the White House information that came from the White House, which he should not have revealed. Schiff had early on called for Nunes to decide whether he's head of the intel committee or a Trump adviser, as he had been during Trump's transition from POTUS-elect to POTUS. Trey Gowdy of SC and Tom Rooney of Florida, will "temporarily" lead the committee's Russian Federation probe while the House Ethics Committee looks into the matter. "In announcing his resignation, Nunes claimed that "false' ethics complaints filed by public interest groups were the reason he is stepping down".

All of these recent events are connected to investigations into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 USA election.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the uproar over Nunes "wasn't a problem for us". "We've been continuing to develop our witness lists, to work out some of the logistics in terms of how we bring people before the committee".

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he supported Mr Nunes' decision and said the congressman was eager to talk to the ethics panel.

So, I do want to say I look forward to continuing to work with the chairman on the whole range of other issues that our committee has to deal with.

  • Larry Hoffman