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Nunes to temporarily step aside in House Russia investigation

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced Thursday that he will temporarily step down from the ongoing investigation into Russia's election meddling, including any potential involvement by President Trump. In a statement, Nunes maintained that accusations of collusion with the White House are "entirely false and politically motivated" and blamed "leftwing activist groups" for the controversy.

Nonetheless, Nunes admitted it "is in the best interests" of the committee for him to temporarily hand control of the investigation over to Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), with assistance from Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). Nunes said he intends to meet with the Ethics Committee "at the earliest possible opportunity" to "expedite the dismissal of these false claims." He will "continue to fulfill" his "other responsibilities" as committee chairman in the meantime.