The head of the House Intelligence Committee is stepping aside from the Russia investigation

Devin NunesDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesHouse Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) walks to the House floor on Capitol Hill, March 24, 2017 in Washington.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, announced Thursday morning that he will step aside from the committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Nunes blamed the move on “leftwing activist groups” that filed complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics and maintained that accusations of bias are “entirely false and politically motivated,” but said he chose to temporarily step away.

“Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” Nunes said in the statement. “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 US citizens and other abuses of power.”

“Despite the baselessness of the charges, I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress for me to have Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, temporarily take charge of the Committee’s Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee looks into this matter.”

This is a developing story…

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