Statement of Meredith McGehee on Rep. Nunes (R-CA): This is why the Office of Congressional Ethics was created

Issue One’s Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy Meredith McGehee released the following statement in response to questions about whether House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) violated House ethics rules when he allegedly revealed classified information to the public and to President Donald Trump.

“Published reports have raised legitimate questions as to whether Chairman Nunes’ recent actions comport with congressional requirements for handling classified information. Given the political storm that his actions have created, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) should step forward and initiate an investigation as to whether Chairman Nunes violated House ethics rules. These rules clearly state that before a member of Congress may have access to classified information, the member must swear that he or she ‘will not disclose any classified information received in the course of my service with the House of Representatives, except as authorized by the House of Representatives or in accordance with its Rules.’

This is exactly the kind of situation that OCE, an independent agency, was created to address. Its role is to investigate allegations of violations of House rules and to make recommendations to the House Ethics Committee. Regardless of public commotion, including Rep. Nunes’ own conflicting statements, what matters most is for lawmakers and the public to have clarity regarding the rules and laws governing appropriate congressional activity and behavior. Congress and the American people deserve to know the facts, and whether in this instance Rep. Nunes did or did not violate House Rules. The OCE has an important role in ensuring that any findings on this matter have institutional and public credibility.”