His statement reads in full:
Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics. 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 unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power. Despite the baselessness of the charges, I believe it is in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and 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 White House Ethics Committee looks into this matter. I will continue to fulfill all my other responsibilities as Committee Chairman, and I am requesting to speak with the Ethics Committee at the earliest possible opportunity in order to expedite the dismissal of these false claims.Nunes can try to spin this as a partisan smear to distract from conservatives' bullshit conspiracy theory about Susan Rice all he wants, but, the truth is that the ethics complaints were prompted by his brazenly unethical behavior.
Even Speaker Paul Ryan's statement was tepid and perfunctory in its support for Nunes:
Devin Nunes has earned my trust over many years for his integrity and dedication to the critical work that the intelligence community does to keep America safe. He continues to have that trust, and I know he is eager to demonstrate to the Ethics Committee that he has followed all proper guidelines and laws. In the meantime, it is clear that this process would be a distraction for the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in our election. Chairman Nunes has offered to step aside as the lead Republican on this probe, and I fully support this decision. Chairman Mike Conaway, a senior member of the Committee, will now lead this investigation in the House. I am confident that he will oversee a professional investigation into Russia's actions and follow the facts wherever they lead.Ryan did not add: "And he will also do everything he can to make sure those facts don't lead to the White House, but he has assured me he will be less obvious about it than that dipshit Nunes."
In case you've forgotten who Mike Conaway is, he's this guy:
Excruciating: Comey tries to explain to a Republican that if Putin wanted Clinton to lose, he wanted Trump to win pic.twitter.com/QtqzKi6dR6— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 20, 2017
CONAWAY: The logic is that because [Putin] really didn't like, uh, President— candidate Clinton that he automatically liked Trump? That assessment's based on, um, what?So, that's with whom Nunes is being replaced. If you were wondering if we should have any confidence in him, the answer is a hard no.
COMEY: Well, it's based on more than that, but, part of it is that, we're not going to get into the details of it here, but part of it is the logic. Wherever the Red Raiders are playing, you want the Red Raiders to win; by definition, you want their opponent to lose.
CONAWAY: I know, but this says that, that you wanted both of 'em— that you wanted her to lose and you wanted him to win. Is that what you're saying?
COMEY: Right. They're inseparable. Right? So it's a two— it's a two-person event.
CONAWAY: Right, right. I gotcha. So I'm just wondering when you decided you wanted him to win.