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March 22, 2017

Devin Nunes Embarrasses the Central Valley

FRESNO—Rep. Devin Nunes (R–CD22) finds himself in the national news for a pair of bizarre press conferences that brings into question his ethics, his understanding of the role of the important House committee that he chairs and his willingness to break with 40 years of tradition in providing the President with information from an ongoing investigation even before notifying his fellow committee members.

During his comments to the press, Nunes made contradictory statements relative to the information that he provided President Donald Trump. Initially, he said the information—concerning alleged incidental surveillance of Trump transition team members—was not part of the House Intelligence Committee’s current investigation of Russian influence on the U.S. election, but when asked the question a second time he said that the information he provided the President was currently being investigated by the committee.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D–CD28), also from California and the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that Nunes’ actions make him appear to be a “surrogate of the White House.” Schiff has questioned whether Nunes can lead an objective investigation, and now there are bipartisan appeals for an independent committee. Senators John McCain and Chuck Schumer have both called for such a committee.

Nunes exhibited bad judgment in sharing information with the President during an ongoing investigation and by failing to inform his fellow committee members (from both parties) of the “new” information that he claims to have obtained. This is a serious abuse of his authority as the committee’s chair.

Furthermore, given that Nunes was a key player on the national security transition team for Trump, his relationship to the president and what information he might have shared with the President raise further questions about his ethical soundness.

“Nunes’ sophomoric and apparently partisan stunt today is further indication that he is out of his depth on the Intelligence Committee,” says Michael D. Evans, chair of the California Federation of Democratic County Central Committee Members, chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party and a resident of Nunes’ district. “Nunes has now used a national platform to embarrass not only himself but also his Central Valley district. We need a trustworthy representative in Washington who will represent our interests.”

Indeed, Nunes is in “way, way over his head,” stated commentator Lawrence O’Donnell. “That’s what he showed everyone today.”

The Fresno County Democratic Party supports an investigation of Rep. Nunes’ actions and asks that he step down as head of the Intelligence Committee until such investigation is completed. For more information, contact 559-495-0606 or

Michael D. Evans