House Russia Probe Getting New Leader Amid Controversy

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"I think that's a very positive step, as well", he said.

Said to be well-respected among his GOP colleagues, Conaway will have the hard task of rebuilding trust and restoring credibility to a House probe that has, at times, resembled more of a soap opera than a collaborative bipartisan investigation.

The chairman also created controversy when he chose to bypass his fellow committee members and brief Trump on the information related to surveillance. "Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision".

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday that he doesn't know Conaway, but he heard he was well-respected.

In a subsequent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nunes explained, "There's a story ... that the Trump administration asked me not to invite Sally Yates and not have a hearing, which is 100% accurate, I mean inaccurate".

The House Ethics Committee released a statement acknowledging the investigation, though it cautioned it "does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee".

Nunes denounced the groups as "left-wing organizations" in a statement and rejected the allegations.

He said he hopes Trump is asking McMaster about his options, including for diplomacy and the legal basis to use force.

For Conaway, a Republican from Midland and a senior member of the intelligence panel, the assignment represents a sudden leap into the center of a gripping national drama over the USA intelligence and diplomatic apparatus, Russian agents, and leading figures in both the Trump and Obama administrations. "How low can you go?"

But Nunes said publicly he had discovered files where the names had been unmasked by unnamed Obama officials, and he took his discovery to Trump, while not sharing it with his committee.

Jordan Libowitz is spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

British police arrest two more over parliament attack
A source told The Sun: "There was clear air between the spot where the terrorist was shot down and Mrs May's vehicle ". Police said their investigation into the attack would focus on Masood's "motivation, preparation and his associates".

The House Ethics Committee did not mention the complaints to the OCE in its statement.

Libowitz also says Nunes did the right thing by stepping aside from the House intelligence committee's investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation. Nunes himself was a member of that transition team.

Spokesman Sean Spicer declined to comment Thursday, saying House decisions about committee chairman or their activities are "up to them".

The committee's top Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, issued a statement on Conaway.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes (NOO'-nehs) may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

He was strongly criticized by Democrats on the committee for compromising the investigation by meeting with Mr Trump and other White House officials who were potentially targets of the probe.

Nunes says the charges are false and politically motivated. In the meantime, Nunes said, Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, will take the lead on the Russian Federation investigation, with assistance from Reps.

The decision by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California comes amid partisan turmoil on the committee.

Now, facing questions about his actions, Nunes is temporarily stepping back from spearheading the probe.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said Nunes still had his "full confidence" as committee chairman but agreed with his decision to walk off the Russian Federation investigation.

One thing Rooney said he won't do is look at classified documents at the White House, something Nunes did - and for which Democrats excoriated him.