Rep. Devin Nunes is stepping aside from the Russia investigation by the House intelligence committee because (drumroll) he is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for disclosing intelligence without proper authorization.
"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," Nunes said in a statement, adding that the allegations against him are "baseless."
Nunes said in a hastily arranged press conference last month he had come into possession of classified information showing Trump transition team members were "incidentally collected" by U.S. intelligence agencies during their surveillance of foreign targets and improperly "unmasked." Nunes made his claim following a late-night trip to the White House where he reportedly met with senior administration officials who played a role in giving him classified information. (Nunes maintains they were not his original source.) Nunes was criticized for briefing the president—who is under investigation by his panel—before his own committee’s members, and Democrats on the panel quickly began to question the independence of the probe.source
Rep. Mike Conaway, a Republican, will take Nunes's position as the leader of the committee’s investigation into Russia as the Ethics Committee begins its work. This responsibility will be shared with Reps. Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, who are other Republicans on the panel.