Rep. Devin Nunes, a controversial Republican from the San Joaquin Valley, is leaving Congress to run a social media company founded by former President Trump.
“I will miss being your congressman very much,” Nunes said in a message to his constituents on Monday.
Shortly after he mailed the note, Trump Media & Technology Group announced that Nunes, 48, will be their chief executive officer starting January.
“It is time to reopen the internet and allow the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship,” Nunes said in a statement. “I feel humble and honored that President Trump has asked me to lead the mission.”
Seated members of Congress face significant restrictions on negotiating jobs in the private sector during their tenure. However, the restrictions are largely disregarded.
The former dairy farmer’s retirement comes amid decades of congressional reorganization as California loses a member of Congress for the first time in its history. According to the draft cards published in November, Nunes should have faced a tough re-election in the 2022 midterm elections. But the incumbent is an amazing fundraiser, who turned up $ 11.8 million in cash at the end of September, and could have moved to a cheaper seat since members of Congress did not have to live in their districts.
If he was a candidate and successful, Nunes would be ready to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee should Republicans win a majority in 2022, as expected.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy praised Nunes’ work for the Californians.
“California’s Central Valley is better off because it tirelessly pursues the priorities that support our way of life, from water management to agriculture to health care and economic growth,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Devin’s departure leaves a gaping void in this institution, but his commitment to our country will remain.”
Nunes’ prolific fundraising is notable among members who are not in the leadership. It is a result of his prominence on the House Intelligence Committee and his senior position on the Tax Constitutions Committee of the House Ways and Means.
He collected more than $ 26 million in the last election cycle, ranking fourth in the entire House of Representatives for monies raised directly for a member’s personal campaign account (compared to the party accounts leaders usually back up), according to it Center for Responsive Politics. a nonprofit organization that pursues money in politics.
Nunes has served on the Congress since 2003. As top Republican on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee during President Trump’s first impeachment, Nunes positioned himself as a key ally and defender of the former president; Trump later awarded Nunes the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
He made headlines for several lawsuits he filed to quell criticism, most notably one against Twitter two years ago for parody accounts named Devin Nunes ‘cow and Devin Nunes’ mother and a Democratic strategist. He said the accounts defamed him and his reputation and cost him political support when he was re-elected in 2018. The lawsuits were unsuccessful.
Such efforts, coupled with Nunes’ unyielding loyalty to Trump, resulted in Nunes becoming a major target of liberal disdain across the country.
“Good liberation,” said the Democrat Phil Arballo, who ran unsuccessfully against Nunes in 2020 and wanted to compete against him next year.
Nunes’ resignation will give the Democrats in the House of Representatives a small but immediate boost: As soon as Nunes leaves office and his seat is vacant, the Democratic leadership in its narrow majority will have a little more breathing space.
He is the second member of the California congressional delegation to announce his resignation. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Bay Area Democrat, announced last month that she would not run again.
Mehta answered from Los Angeles and Haberkorn from Washington.