Political Notebook

Devin Nunes didn’t divulge secrets in Russia investigation, House Ethics Committee says

Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.
Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

The House Ethics Committee cleared Rep. Devin Nunes on Thursday of allegations raised in the spring that he revealed classified information related to the House’s Russia investigation.

After learning of the investigation, Nunes announced he would step away from the House’s investigation amid a firestorm of intense scrutiny and media coverage. The Tulare Republican is the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is leading the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference with the 2016 election.

The committee first announced its investigation in April.

Ethics Chairwoman Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, said in her statement that the committee consulted classification experts who analyzed Nunes’ statements. Based on their findings, the committee ruled that Nunes did not break any classification rules and closed the matter.

In a statement, Nunes thanked the committee for “completely clearing me today of the cloud that was created by this investigation” before going on the offensive.

“While I appreciate the Ethics Committee’s work, I need to reiterate that the allegations against me were obviously frivolous and were rooted in politically motivated complaints filed against me by left-wing activist groups,” he said.

“I respect the ethics process, but I remain dismayed that it took an unbelievable eight months for the Committee to dismiss this matter.”

Nunes said he was concerned the Ethics Committee even took up the case, saying complaints of unauthorized classified information disclosures are typically reviewed by staff, not Congress members. He called on the committee to release all non-classified information collected during its investigation, saying the public would benefit from its transparency.