The House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Republican Devin Nunes has ended with no evidence being found that he released classified information to the public last year while leading the committee’s probe into Russian actions during the presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The committee released a statement saying that it determined that Nunes, who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had not disclosed classified information to the public. Democrats had accused Nunes of using his authority as the committee’s chair to protect President Donald Trump.
“The Committee will take no further action and considers this matter closed,” the panel said after it concluded its investigation.
Nunes stepped down from leadership of the panel when the investigation began in April in order to handle the ethics accusations, but it is unclear whether he will resume his role. In his absence, the Russia investigation was led by Representative Mike Conaway.
The main focus of the investigation was a March news conference during which Nunes said that U.S. intelligence officials had collected intelligence relating to Trump transition aides while spying on foreign officials. He added that the information was later improperly distributed by Obama administration officials.
However, no evidence has been found to support those allegations, while Obama administration officials have denied any improper handling of highly classified information.
Some Democrats said Nunes was only reinforcing Trump’s unproven allegations that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped him. Senior Justice Department officials in both administrations denied the assertions that Trump was wiretapped.
Following the committee’s announcement, Nunes accused political opponents of generating false allegations against him.
“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. I respect the ethics process, but I remain dismayed that it took an unbelievable eight months for the Committee to dismiss this matter,” he said.