With release of top-security memo, Devin Nunes could be plotting his own downfall

February 5, 2018

Devin Nunes (R-22nd District, California), the 44-year-old chairman of the House Intelligence Committee—and the prime mover behind a memo released on February 2 that alleged misconduct by the Department of Justice and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—is going out on a political limb that may not support his arguments or his career.

Those are the findings of a Public Policy Polling canvass of 560 voters in the district, conducted on behalf of Nunes’s Democratic challenger Andrew Janz. Indeed, the poll indicated that voters are ready for a Democratic candidate in 2018—with 45% supporting a change in representation, in the wake of Nunes’s partisan actions.

At first glance, New York Magazine reported on February 1, you would assume that Nunes’s path to reelection would be practically unimpeded. Not only did he win his last election with 68% of the vote, but Republicans have a 43/33 registration advantage in the 22nd District, centered in the Republican-trending parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties.

However, the magazine said, “Nunes’s increasingly bizarre behavior is giving unlikely oxygen to … Janz, who created something of a buzz in December by erecting billboards showing the incumbent on a child leash (along with the president) held by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.”

Not only has Nunes skirted the strict instructions of the DOJ to distribute top-secret information broadly, but, according to the ranking member of his committee, Adam Schiff (D-28th District, California), he altered his classified memo before sharing it with the White House.

The memo is meant to drive a Republican-led movement in Congress that would accept nothing less than a purge of federal law enforcement officials in order to eliminate what Nunes characterizes as anti-Trump bias.

In a story in the Daily Kos, Janz said, “This poll shows what I knew to be true when I announced last April: Devin Nunes is vulnerable for a challenge this year due to his ethical missteps and complete dedication to protecting the president instead of serving the people of the Valley. I’m more determined than ever to retire him in 2018.

Research contact: information@publicpolicypolling.com

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