House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has taken a lot of shit in recent weeks.
Nunes has been dinged for canceling public meetings for the House Intel Committee. He’s been taken to task by the committee’s ranking Democratic, Adam Schiff (Calif.), for revealing information to the press and president before sharing that material with committee members. Republicans such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have unfavorably compared him to Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther series. And throughout every misstep and unforced error, the din of calls for him to step down from the House investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election (and possible collusion with the Trump team) has only grown louder.
Today, all of the signal noise became louder and clearer when Chairman Nunes announced that he is stepping down from the committee’s investigation. Chairman Nunes says it’s because of “left-wing activists” filing charges against him in the Office of Congressional Ethics. The House Committee on Ethics is now investigating Nunes’ handling of sensitive information but there’s no evidence (as of now) that this is purely the result of some vast left-wing conspiracy against him.
Nunes says that he’s handing over the reins of the investigation to Representative Mike Conway (R-Texas) while the ethics complaints are adjudicated, and that he will continue to serve as committee chairman in other matters. Conway then will have his hands full as he has to answer questions about Nunes, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s alleged unmasking of Trump team members, former Trump adviser Mike Flynn asking for immunity in exchange for testifying, Jared Kushner offering to testify, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates possibly going before the House committee to say just what happened with her dismissal and Mike Flynn lying to Vice President Mike Pence about meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
It’s a lot for any one person to keep track of, even more so for someone who probably wasn’t planning on the committee chairman stepping down.
For a recent breakdown of Chairman Nunes’ bungling of the Russia investigation, head here now.