The national political spotlight has found Devin Nunes – and it doesn’t appear that focus is going away anytime soon.
The Republican congressman from Tulare and chair of the House Committee on Intelligence is under scrutiny after disclosing information to President Donald Trump without first sharing it with his committee, including his Democratic counterpart on the committee, Adam Schiff.
Nunes revealed Wednesday that members of Trump’s transition team, maybe Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance after the election in November. The Trump administration immediately jumped on the statement as vindication of the president’s much-maligned claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower — even though Nunes himself said that’s not what his new information shows.
Nunes apologized to his committee Thursday, saying it was a “judgment call.”
Still, some lawmakers questioned whether Nunes broke the law with his actions.
And it didn’t stop there, including Nancy Pelosi calling the 43-year-old former dairy farmer a “stooge.”
Some political columnists across the country also took to the offensive against Nunes, whose district includes Visalia, Clovis, part of Fresno and acres of farm country.
Ross Baker of USA Today wrote that Nunes dishonored his position as chair of the House committee.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said the GOP should replace Nunes as Intelligence chairman.
Eli Lake of Bloomberg News defended Nunes, writing that Nunes is doing his job by overseeing “the intelligence community that is doing the investigating.”
It’s not the first controversy during the Trump administration for Nunes, who was first elected in 2002.
Last month, Nunes came to the defense of Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned after 24 days on the job after reports emerged that he lied about telephone conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the United States before President Trump took office – which led to a small protest outside Nunes’ office in Clovis calling for him to be investigated.