- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2017

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday cleared House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in its investigation of whether he gave classified material to the White House.

The allegations against Mr. Nunes, California Republican, prompted his stepping down from leading the committee’s probe into Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

It was unclear if the Ethics Committee decision would restore his role in the Russia probe,

“Based solely on the conclusion of these classification experts that the information that Representative Nunes disclosed was not classified, the Committee will take no further action and considers this matter closed,” the committee chairman and ranking member said in a joint statement.

The information disclosed to the Trump White House revealed that Obama administration officials had unmasked Trump transition team officials who were caught up in government surveillance.

Mr. Nunes said in a statement that he thanked the committee for “completely clearing me today of the cloud that was created by this investigation.”

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

He asked the Ethics Committee to make public all its transcripts related to the case.

“As Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as a Member of Congress, I am concerned about the unprecedented step the Ethics Committee took in both taking up allegations of unauthorized disclosures of classified information-a review that has historically been undertaken by non-partisan professional staff within the respective congressional committees-and how it ultimately reviewed this specific matter,” he said.

Mr. Nunes continued, “I am also concerned by public statements made by four of the Ethics Committee’s five Democrats that appeared to prejudge this matter before they began investigating the complaint.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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