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House intel chairman stepping aside from House Russia investigation

By Manu Raju and Tom LoBianco CNN

(CNN) -- House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes announced Thursday he was temporarily stepping aside from leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections.

Nunes cited a series of ethics complaints filed against him alleging that he violated terms of discussing classified material following his clandestine meeting at the White House just over two weeks ago.

"I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress for me to have Representative Mike Conaway, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney, temporarily take charge of the Committee's Russia investigation while the House Ethics Committee looks into this matter," Nunes, a California Republican, said in a statement.

He added, "I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, and I am requesting to speak to the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims."

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