WASHINGTON – Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican who has become one of former President Donald J. Trump’s most loyal and combative allies, on Monday announced he would step down from Congress after 19 years to become the Managing Director of Mr. Trump’s New Media and Tech Company.
Mr. Nunes faced near impossible chances of being re-elected in the Central Valley district his family has exploited for three generations. A new map from an independent Citizen Redistribution Commission was almost certain to tip it from a district Mr. Trump won hands down to one President Biden would have won.
But political analysts and district politicians had predicted that Mr. Nunes – who was the chairman and then the highest Republican on the House Intelligence Committee during the Trump administration – would jump into a newly created, Republican-friendly district. It would have allowed him to continue his career in Congress and lead the powerful Ways and Means Committee if the Republicans took control of the House, as they are encouraged to do.
Mr. Nunes’ decision to take over Mr. Trump’s fledgling media business instead of the influential House panel that writes tax and health policy indicates where he thinks power lies with the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.
“Recently I was offered a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in,” Nunes wrote in a letter to his constituents, saying he would leave the House at the end of the year. year, well before the end. of its mandate.
Mr. Trump, in a press release from the Trump Media & Technology Group, called his new chief executive a “fighter and a leader.”
“Devin understands that we must stop the liberal media and big tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Nunes was once a trusted lieutenant to President John A. Boehner, a Republican loyalist who clashed fiercely and publicly with the staunch conservatives of the House Freedom Caucus. These Freedom Caucus rebels became the vanguard of Mr. Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party, and Mr. Nunes followed suit.
From his perch on the Intelligence Committee, he called on Mr. Trump against accusations that his 2016 campaign collaborated with Russian intelligence. Mr Nunes also organized a united Republican front opposing the president’s first impeachment for refusing military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure his government to dig up Mr Biden’s filth.
Mr. Nunes has also waged public battles against the media and its critics, suing The Washington Post, CNN, The Fresno Bee and Twitter for perceived offenses, and attacking Twitter in an attempt to expose the perpetrator. a mocking account allegedly written by his cow. . (His family runs a dairy farm.)
Phil Arballo, the Democrat who ran against Mr Nunes last year and is running for the seat again in 2022, said he expected his opponent to cut and run in the district, which, according to an emerging map, would include much more of urban Fresno. while losing the Republican strongholds to the east.
âWhat we do know about Devin is that he won’t work for nothing,â Mr. Arballo said in an interview ahead of Monday’s announcement.