Devin Nunes formalized his resignation from Congress over the weekend, paving the way for him as the head of former President Trump’s new media and technology company.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Nunes said her resignation as a congressman was effective at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, according to a copy of correspondence obtained by The Times. Pelosi’s office received the letter on Monday.
“It has been the honor of my life to represent the people of the San Joaquin Valley in California for the past 19 years,” wrote Nunes, a Republican from Tulare.
Nunes takes over as head of Trump Media & Technology Group, which is expected to launch Truth Social, Trump’s response to Twitter and Facebook in the coming weeks. Social media companies kicked the former president off their platforms last year for his role in inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overthrow the presidential election.
Trump’s firm describes its business as “America’s ‘Big Tent’ social media platform” and says it “intends to level the playing field by providing people with platforms. open media forms where they can share and create content without fear of ruining their reputation ”.
Nunes’ new concert solidifies the 48-year-old’s place as a key member of Trump’s inner circle, underscoring the importance the former president often places on loyalty rather than relevant experience, to So much so that he gave Nunes the reins of a company that is valued at $ 875 million.
A review of Nunes’ congressional record reveals that his rapid rise from backbench to media official should come as no surprise; the former dairy farmer wasted no time in becoming one of Trump’s staunchest political allies and waged a battle on behalf of the former president against the Justice Department, Democrats and corporations. social media.
“In some ways, he’s one of the most unlikely characters you’d ever see become Trump and full MAGA sitting members of Congress,” said Rob Stutzman, a California-based Republican consultant who followed the rise of Nunes. “It seems a little unpredictable that this will end up being the trajectory of his career in Congress.”
Nunes entered Congress in 2003 after winning a tough primary against a state legislator and former mayor of a new congressional district in the San Joaquin Valley.
During his first six terms, Nunes kept a low national profile, focusing his legislative energy on wrestling with environmentalists over water policies he said hurt farmers.
“Before Donald Trump became president, Devin Nunes was actually quite focused on local issues,” said Thomas Holyoke, professor of political science at Fresno State University. “Devin was sponsoring videos of how the farms were drying up here in the valley in order to save the small fish in the delta region and how the environmentalists were all crazy fools who wanted nothing less than to destroy completely agriculture. This is where he really made his mark and gained tremendous support in parts of the valley on water issues.
Nunes gradually turned his attention to national security, a move that would place him firmly in Trump’s orbit. In 2015, he became chairman of the influential House Intelligence Committee.
After Trump won the party nomination that year, Nunes traveled to the Bay Area and met with the candidate, joining him on a flight to Los Angeles and then Tulare to fundraise for the presidential campaign. Soon after, Nunes joined the executive committee of Trump’s transition team.
Nunes’ role at the top of the Intelligence Committee gave him an influential platform to defend the president against claims that Russia aided Trump’s campaign.
Special Advocate Robert S. Mueller III ultimately concluded that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian aid in the 2016 campaign, but did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with the Kremlin.
Nunes was a fierce critic of Mueller and accused the FBI of breaking the rules in his investigation. The Republican majority on its committee wrote a memo raising concerns “about the legitimacy and legality” of the Department of Justice and FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Watch Act during the election cycle from 2016.
When Mueller’s report was released in April 2019, Nunes alleged that the special advocate “ignored a wide range of abuses committed during the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign” and echoed Trump in calling the investigation a “Russian hoax”.
Nunes didn’t just train with the Justice Department. He shared Trump’s contempt for mainstream media and social media companies, denouncing what he described as their anti-Conservative bias, and has repeatedly sued news outlets for defamation.
When House Democrats impeached the former president in late 2019 over allegations he pressured an ally to dig up dirt on future President Biden, Nunes has once again been one of Trump’s most vocal supporters, accusing the opposing side of waging “a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign.”
Trump rewarded Nunes’ loyalty on January 4 last year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House credited the chairman of the intelligence committee with uncovering what it called “the crime of the century,” a reference to alleged wrongdoing by the FBI in its investigation into Russia, and described the member of the Congress as a “civil servant of unparalleled talent”.
Two days later, a pro-Trump mob invaded the U.S. Capitol, fighting police officers and contributing to the deaths of five, all in an unsuccessful effort to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. Later that day, after Capitol Hill was emptied of rioters, Nunes joined 138 other House Republicans in opposing the presidential election results.
Democrats in the House were joined by 10 Republicans in impeaching Trump last January over claims he incited an insurgency. Trump was acquitted in the Senate by 57 votes to 43, below the 67 votes required to convict him.
Nunes, who voted against impeachment, told Fox News that the whole process was “nonsense,” adding that “the president makes a lot of mistakes. All presidents make mistakes.