Ethics panel to probe complaints against Devin Nunes

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The Latest on the congressional inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

The full 10-member committee is investigating the allegations, a departure from the usual procedure of having a smaller subcommittee handle a probe, and an indication of the seriousness of the claims.

The California Republican congressman says several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against him with the office of congressional ethics.

Nunes says the charges are false and politically motivated. But he says it’s in the best interest of the committee to have Republican Mike Conaway of Texas temporarily take charge of the committee’s investigation.

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10:15 a.m.

Two ethics watchdog groups filed complaints about the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Republican Devin Nunes of California.

Nunes says he’s temporarily stepping aside from the panel’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election because of the complaints.

Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington say Nunes disclosed classified information, which violates House ethics rules.

The groups say Nunes publicly disclosed information he learned by viewing classified material.

Two of the four people who signed the March 28 letter alleging ethics violations served as White House counsels in Republican and Democratic administrations.

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10:05 a.m.

Speaker Paul Ryan says Texas Republican Mike Conaway will take over the House investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Ryan says an ethics complaint filed against Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California by government watchdog groups would be a “distraction” and that Nunes should no longer lead the probe.

Nunes has come under intense criticism for meeting secretly with White House officials to view intelligence regarding Trump associates.

Ryan says he is confident that Conaway “will oversee a professional investigation into Russia’s actions and follow the facts wherever they lead.”

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9:49 a.m.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee says he will temporarily step aside from the panel’s probe into Russian meddling in the election.

In a statement on Thursday, Republican congressman Devin Nunes of California says that several left-wing activist groups have filed accusations against him with the office of congressional ethics.

Nunes says the charges are false and politically motivated. But he says it’s in the best interest of the committee to have GOP congressman Mike Conaway of Texas temporarily take charge of the committee’s investigation.

He says he will continue fulfilling other duties with the committee and wants to talk to the ethics committee as soon as possible to defend himself.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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