December 8, 2021
Representative Devin Nunes (R-California)—a close ally of former President Donald Trump and the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee—has announced that he will resign from Congress later this month in order to run Trump’s new social media company, reports Politico.
Nunes—a ten-term Congressman first elected in 2002—ascended to chair the Intelligence Committee in 2015. But he recused himself temporarily from an inquiry into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election while the Ethics Committee examined his handling of the committee’s investigation.
He is not leaving totally on his own steam: While the independent commission charged with redrawing California’s congressional map is still completing its work, an early draft tilted Nunes’ Central Valley district toward Democrats—potentially complicating his path to reelection.
The Palm Beach-based Trump Media & Technology Group said in a statement on Monday, December 6, that Nunes would become CEO of the company in January.
“The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship,” Nunes said in the statement. “The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream.”
While Trump’s fledgling media company makes a logical landing spot for Nunes given his closeness with the former president—and their shared animosity toward the mainstream media—Trump’s media entity also is facing legal headwinds. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are scrutinizing a special purpose acquisition company working with Trump Media & Technology Group.
According to Politico “In choosing not to remain in Congress, Nunes is achieving on his own terms what California Democrats could not in multiple well-funded attempts to unseat him. A Republican representing California’s agriculture-dominated Central Valley, Nunes has become a primary campaign target for Democrats, given Nunes’ loyalty to Trump.”
Democrats seeking to unseat Nunes have raised millions of dollars in past cycles — much of it from out of state, underscoring the broader fervor for toppling Nunes. But the lawmaker handily turned back those attempts.
Nunes’ pending resignation will set up two elections next year: a special election for the remainder of his term under the old district lines, and the regular election under the new lines for the next Congress beginning in 2023.
Research contact: @politico