Congressman Devin Nunes Resigns to Join Trump Media Company as CEO

From a Wall Street Journal story by Siobhan Hughes headlined “Trump Media Company Names Davin Nunes as CEO”:

Trump Media & Technology Group said it had named Rep. Devin Nunes, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, as chief executive of the social-media venture.

Mr. Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, has told colleagues he plans to resign from Congress….

“Devin understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great,” Mr. Trump said in a statement from the company, which plans to launch a new social-media platform called TruthSocial.

Trump Media & Technology Group said Mr. Nunes, 48, who first took office in 2003, would begin as CEO in January….

Back in October, the company said it would merge with a special-purpose acquisition company, Digital World Acquisition Corp. The effort to launch a new platform came after Mr. Trump’s access to several social-media companies including Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. was restricted following the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

As large tech companies wrestle with how to regulate users’ posts, other social-media sites courting conservative users have emerged in recent years, including Parler, Gab and Gettr, a free-speech-focused platform launched by former Trump adviser Jason Miller.

Digital World disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the planned deal. DWAC would inject cash into and take public the new social-media company Mr. Trump has planned.

As the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Nunes mounted a spirited defense of Mr. Trump against charges that he had committed impeachable offenses by abusing his power and obstructing Congress after the then-president pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival, now-President Joe Biden. Mr. Trump was impeached in the House and acquitted in the Senate.

In Congress, Mr. Nunes was initially associated with the establishment wing of the GOP. He defended former House Speaker John Boehner against attempts by the House Freedom Caucus to oust the GOP leader, criticizing the conservative firebrands as “lemmings with suicide vests” and describing them as members of the “exotic caucus.”

He earned a coveted slot on the Ways and Means Committee, where he would have been the senior Republican on the panel and thus in line to likely become chairman of the tax-writing committee if he were to stay in Congress and the GOP recaptured the majority.

Mr. Nunes made headlines as a loyal ally of Mr. Trump in 2017, when the intelligence committee investigated Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Democrats accused him of providing political cover to the Trump administration rather than leading a serious inquiry.

Mr. Nunes alleged that Trump associates were subject to incidental surveillance while talking to foreign officials and in certain cases had their names improperly unmasked. The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, said Mr. Nunes’s claims were unfounded. Mr. Nunes ultimately recused himself from the Russia meddling probe.

Mr. Nunes later took a leading role in defending Mr. Trump in the president’s first impeachment trial, which Mr. Trump called part of a broader witch hunt.

In the final month of his presidency, Mr. Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mr. Nunes, with the White House praising Mr. Nunes for his role in attempting to discredit investigations of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia.

In a 2019 report, then-special counsel Robert Mueller confirmed that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and detailed contacts between the Russian operatives and members of the Trump campaign, but said the evidence didn’t establish a conspiracy or coordination between the two.

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