Devin Nunes is removing himself from the House's investigation into possible ties between Russia and President Trump's team, reports Politico. The California Republican chairs the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Russian tampering in the presidential election, but Nunes has been accused of being too close to the White House to lead an impartial investigation. He had previously rejected Democrats' demands that he recuse himself. In a statement, Nunes said he felt it would be in the "best interests" of the committee if he turned over the investigation to Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas, with assistance from Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Tom Rooney of Florida, per the Hill.
Nunes said he made his decision after "several leftwing activist groups" filed complaints against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics. "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." Democrats were incensed last month when Nunes briefed Trump on new intelligence he had received—it actually came from the White House—before briefing the panel. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Nunes still has his trust, but he said the ethics complaints "would be a distraction" for the committee. (Read more Devin Nunes stories.)