Devin Nunes — the California representative who used his seat atop the House Intelligence Committee to aid Trump’s efforts to thwart the Justice Department’s investigation into his administration’s ties to Russia — is retiring from Congress.
Nunes in a letter to his constituents wrote that he will not even finish serving his term, and that his retirement will be effective at the end of this year. “Recently, I was presented with a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in,” he wrote. “I’m writing to let you know I’ve decided to pursue this opportunity and therefore I will be leaving the House of Representatives at the end of 2021.”
The new opportunity? Nunes will become the CEO of Trump’s new media group, the company, which is already under federal investigation, announced on Monday. “Devin is fantastic,” Trump said in confirming the news Monday night on Newsmax.
Trump: I don’t know anything about the SEC. I do know Devin is fantastic… And you know this is just a continuation of witch hunts… If our side doesn’t have a voice, you’re going to end up with pure communism. pic.twitter.com/XgnevzpUOE
— Acyn (@Acyn) December 6, 2021
Nunes has represented California’s 22nd District since 2013, and before that represented the 21st since 2003. The news of his retirement comes less than a month after the state’s redistricting map threw his seat into jeopardy. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has pointed out that the new map would swing Nunes’ constituency from favoring Trump by a five-point margin to favoring Biden by nine points.
Nunes was one of Trump’s most ardent loyalists while the former president was in office. He served on his 2017 transition team, and as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee did all he could to insulate Trump and his circle from the Justice Department’s investigation into the administration’s ties to Russia. He was then embroiled Trump’s 2019 impeachment, both as one of the president’s biggest defenders and as a person of interest for his connection to Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas.
Nunes would be in line to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if he were to be reelected and the GOP were to regain its majority in 2022. He’d rather spend time with Trump.
This story is developing.