Report: Ethics investigation into Nunes ended because panel couldn't gain access to classified info

Devin Nunes.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has crowed that the House Ethics Committee "completely" cleared him in December of sharing classified information with reporters, but three people with knowledge of the investigation told The Atlantic that the panel was never able to review the relevant information and that's likely the reason the case was closed.

The ethics investigation was launched last April, after Nunes spoke to reporters on at least two occasions about classified information he said he received from a whistleblower regarding the collection of intelligence; The New York Times and The Washington Post reported that Nunes actually obtained those documents with the help of three White House officials. Complaints were filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics by two watchdog groups, but the committee was never able to see or review the classified information Nunes said he had, three people with ties to Congress told The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand.

Since the committee was unable to figure out if the information was classified, or what exactly Nunes had seen, that's likely why they decided to close the investigation, one person told Bertrand. When asked about the accuracy of Nunes claiming he's been vindicated and how thorough the investigation really was, a spokesman for the Ethics Committee declined to comment and Nunes' office did not respond.

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