This is breaking news and will be updated.

Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who exposed the “unmasking” of information regarding the Trump transition team by the Obama administration, has announced he will step aside from the Russia investigation

This is a major victory for Democrats, who have smeared and attacked Nunes, and comes after liberal interest groups filed ethics complaints against Nunes, leading to an ethics investigation.

[Post to be updated]

From The Hill:

“Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics,” Nunes said in the statement. “The charges are entirely false and politically motivated, and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmaking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power.”

Nunez [sic] said he will continue to fulfill his other duties as chairman.

“I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims.”

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) will take over the investigation while Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Rep. Tom Rooney (R-PA) will offer assistance.

The ethics committee confirmed 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 ethics panel said.

“The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), is investigating and gathering more information regarding these allegations.”

The statement noted that the existence of a probe does not mean Nunes broke any rules.

Added:

How important was what Nunes uncovered and made sure would be part of the investigation? Peter King says the information on individuals was personal, like an oppo research file:

The intelligence reports at the center of the Susan Rice unmasking controversy were detailed, and almost resembled a private investigator’s file, according to a Republican congressman familiar with the documents.

“This is information about their everyday lives,” Rep. Peter King of New York, a member of the House Intelligence committee said. “Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired just to find out what the other person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on.”

This is a major win for the Democrats. The one person willing to stick his neck out to get to the truth is now gone. Can you imagine a Democrat stepping aside under these circumstances? Not on your life. Adam Schiff is still there. This also will feed the beast, as MoveOn.org, which filed an ethics complaint, will be encouraged.

Republicans in Congress can be so stupid and weak it’s maddening.