Republican Congressman Devin Nunes is putting himself out to pasture.
After a tumultuous few years as one of Donald Trump’s most vocal and most mocked allies in Congress, Nunes announced Monday afternoon that he is resigning his seat by the end of the month to take a job as CEO of the new Trump Media and Technology Group.
Nunes was in line to be the next chairman of the House Ways and Means committee if Republicans win control of the House next year — and if he was able to hold onto his seat after redistricting was likely to make his district a lot bluer.
In an email to his constituents, Nunes said that he was “presented with a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in,” while Trump put out a statement calling the congressman “a fighter and a leader.”
Nunes was among the staunchest and loudest of Trump’s defenders during and after the investigations into the Trump 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia amid that country’s interference in the U.S. presidential election.
In exchange, Trump rewarded Nunes with the Medal of Freedom, saying he had the “fortitude to take on the media, the FBI, the Intelligence Community, the Democrat(sic) Party, foreign spies and the full power of the Deep State.”
The reality, according to Democrats and watchdogs, was that Nunes was a Trump flunky who abused his position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to obstruct the investigation and run interference for Trump while Robert Mueller investigated the former president for conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
A mainstay on Fox News Channel, Nunes became a target for Democrats’ mockery after he tried to sue Twitter for defamatory remarks made by a fictional cow account that mocked Nunes’s claims to be a dairy farmer. After the San Joaquin Valley Sun broke the news of Nunes’s resignation Monday, Democrats and other Twitter personalities shared countless cow-themed puns to welcome the congressman’s exit.
“Anybody up for an epic party? #DevinNunesIsAnIdiot” @DevinCow tweeted shortly after the news of Nunes’s resignation.
But the soon-to-be ex-congressman’s unwavering allegiance to Trump, even at the expense of his own dignity, made him a star among Republicans. He finished the most recent fundraising quarter with almost $12 million.
The challenge facing Nunes, and possibly other California Republicans, is that a new congressional map was likely to make his seat, which was a Trump +6 district according to the Washington Post, a district that voted in favor of President Joe Biden.
Facing a more difficult re-election battle, Nunes appears to have decided to cash in early.
And he might find his new role is a lot like the job he did defending Trump from federal investigators as a congressman and right-wing media personality. Wall Street regulators, including the SEC, are already reportedly investigating the company that is merging with Trump’s new social media company.
Trump, who is banned from Twitter following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said in his statement Monday that Nunes “understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great.”
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