After an investigation that lasted 8 months, the House Ethics Committee released a statement today saying it had no evidence that Rep. Devin Nunes had leaked any classified information.
On April 6, 2017, the Committee announced that it was aware of public allegations that Representative Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct, and that the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), was investigating and gathering more information regarding these allegations. The Committee does not determine whether information is or is not classified. In the course of this investigation, the Committee sought the analysis of Representative Nunes’s statements by classification experts in the intelligence community. 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.
All of this goes back to March of this year when Nunes gave a press conference suggesting he’d seen evidence that someone in the Obama administration had unmasked the names of members of the Trump transition team who were caught up in legal surveillance.
Outraged Democrats sent a letter to Paul Ryan which read in part “This is about country, not party,” as they demanded Nunes recuse himself from leading the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation. Nunes refused initially but two days later announced that he would recuse himself on the same day the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Nunes:
The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Devin Nunes may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct. The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), is investigating and gathering more information regarding these allegations.
Today we know that all of that came to naught. So why did it take 8 months for the Ethics Committee to determine this? In August Byron York wrote a piece for Townhall quoting Republicans on the Intel Committee who believed Democrats were slow-walking resolution of the case in order to keep Nunes on the sidelines of the Russia investigation.
“I don’t think there is anyone on the (intelligence) committee who thinks Devin did anything inappropriate,” said Rep. Chris Stewart, a member of the Intelligence Committee, in an interview last week. “We’re so frustrated with the ethics process that I’ve been encouraging him to get back in the seat.”
“How it has been handled has been very controversial,” said another Intel Committee member in a text exchange. “Democrats slow-walking the ethics inquiry to keep (Nunes) sidelined.”
So despite all their concern about “country, not party” it seems this was really just Democrats playing partisan games as they stirred the Russia collusion pot.