(CN) – Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced Thursday morning that he will temporarily step aside from the panel’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In a statement, the California congressman complained that left-wing activist groups have filed false and politically motivated accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics.
In light of them, he said he believes it is in the best interest of the committee to have Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, temporarily lead the committee’s investigation.
Nunes also said he intends to meet with the ethics committee as soon as possible to defend himself.
The White House declined to comment, describing the Nunes situation as “an internal matter for the House.”