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Watchdog group files ethics complaint against Nunes after report of House Intel leaks

Watchdog group files ethics complaint against Nunes after report of House Intel leaks
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A government ethics watchdog group has filed a complaint against Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC What good are the intelligence committees? CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be MORE (R-Calif.) after a report revealed that a House Intelligence Committee Republican leaked Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerGOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Hillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships MORE’s (D-Va.) text messages to Fox News.

The liberal watchdog group Campaign for Accountability announced Thursday it amended a previous complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Nunes and called on OCE to investigate the Intelligence chairman for “leaking information provided to the committee during the course of an official investigation.”

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“Time and time again, Rep. Nunes and his staff leak confidential information without consequence,” the group’s executive director, Daniel Stevens, said in a statement. “What will it take for the House to step in and stop this clear abuse of authority?”

The group has previously filed complaints with OCE, including a similar complaint last month accusing Nunes of leaking information about Fusion GPS, the research firm tied to the controversial dossier connecting President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE to Russia.

The complaint follows a report in The New York Times citing congressional officials who say the Senate Intelligence Committee determined that a Republican on the House panel leaked messages to Fox News that were sent by Warner.

Last month, Fox News published a series of texts between Warner and lobbyist Adam Waldman, whose firm reportedly has ties to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Hillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction Jill Biden redefines role of first lady MORE.

Warner was seeking to establish contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial Trump-Russia dossier, as part of the Senate panel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and exchanged texts with Waldman about making contact with the ex-spy.

At the time, Fox News reported the texts were obtained from “a Republican source.”

The Times reported the two leaders of the Senate intel committee - Warner and Chairman Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrRick Scott caught in middle of opposing GOP factions Bipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-S.C.) - determined the leak originated with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, and the two men briefed members of the Senate committee on their findings.

A lawyer for Waldman also came to the conclusion that the House committee leaked the messages and complained to Nunes about the leak, according to the Times.

A spokesman for Nunes did not deny that the committee had leaked the messages in a statement to the Times, but called the report “absurd.”

Burr later denied the Times report, telling a CNN reporter that his committee had not concluded that House Republicans were behind the leak.