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 NunesThe Hill's Morning Report — Ford, Kavanaugh to testify Thursday as another accuser comes forward House panel signals Russia probe document dump before midterms Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems MORE (R-Calif.) after a report revealed that a House Intelligence Committee Republican leaked Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerKey House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms Russia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless 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 John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown 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 Clinton2016 pollsters erred by not weighing education on state level, says political analyst Could President Trump's talk of a 'red wave' cause his supporters to stay home in midterms? Dem group targets Trump in M voter registration campaign: report 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 BurrHillicon Valley: Rosenstein drama dominates the day | Biz, regulators focus on 5G revolution | New questions over Trump cyber strategy Key House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms Trump assures storm victims in Carolinas: 'We will be there 100 percent' 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.