Congressional ethics office asked to investigate possible violation by Nunes

Members of two watchdog groups have asked for a preliminary investigation into the possibility that House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes violated House ethics rules, reports The Hill.

In a March 28 letter posted online by MSNBC's Kyle Griffin, leaders of the organizations Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote to the Office of Congressional Ethics chairman Doc Hastings and co-chair David Skaggs about Nunes' disclosure of "classified information to the public on March 22,2017..."

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The letter points out Nunes "said that 'American intelligence agencies monitoring foreign officials may have 'incidentally' picked up communications of [President] Trump transition team members.'"

The letter goes on to outline Nunes' activities following his announcement including appearing to "walk back his statements" the next day and eventually admitting that "the information in the report he reviewed was classified."

As such, the groups are asking the ethics office to investigate whether Nunes violated Rule 23, Clause 13, which, according to The Hill, "mandates House members to 'not disclose any classified information' unless 'authorized by the House of Representatives or in accordance with its Rules.'"

Despite Nunes' apology to members of his own House intelligence committee for not consulting with them, Democrats including Adam Schiff and a growing number of Republicans are calling for him to recuse himself from looking further into Russian activities, reports NBC News.

However, Nunes and House Speaker Paul Ryan have dismissed such requests.