US Representative Devin Nunes will become the chief executive officer of former US president Donald Trump's new social media venture Trump Media & Technology Group in January, the company said on Monday.
This announcement follows reports that Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will leave Congress, Politico reported on Monday, citing an unnamed person close to the congressman.
According to CNN, citing a Nunes letter, the California congressman will step down at the end of 2021. In this letter, addressed to his constituents, Nunes said he was "presented with a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in."
NEW: Rep. Devin Nunes letter to his constituents announcing his retirement from Congress.Of note- this email says he will retire at the end of this year, not wait until his term ends in 2022.@JakeSherman reported his retirement first. pic.twitter.com/HgSS5yDqFh— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) December 6, 2021
Nunes was first elected in 2002, and chaired the House intelligence panel from January 2015 to January 2019. He has been an ardent Trump supporter, voting against certifying Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 election victory following Trump's false claims of election fraud.
He was also among the most vocal defenders of Trump during the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US presidential election.
Trump, in the company statement, said Nunes "understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great." The group has yet to roll out the social media app it says it is developing.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Trump's $1.25 billion deal to float his social media venture on the stock market by merging it with the blank-check acquisition firm Digital World Acquisition Corp, a filing showed on Monday.
Nunes, who had been part of Trump’s 2016 transition team, stepped aside in 2017 from leading the Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation as the House Ethics Committee said it was investigating allegations he had disclosed classified information. He was later cleared.
According to the first draft map of the redistricting of California's congressional districts, Nunes new district will see him have considerably more Democrat-leaning constituents than before, according to SFGate.
Nunes joins a growing list of federal lawmakers whose departures could shake up next year's congressional elections.
Republicans only need to pick up five seats in the 2022 elections to retake the House of Representatives, which would give them effective veto power over Biden's legislative agenda.