Everything you need to know about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes
Over the last week, California Rep. Devin Nunes has been in the national spotlight for his actions as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
It was revealed Monday that Nunes was on White House grounds March 21 reviewing information pertaining to what he said was the legal, “incidental” collection of surveillance on President Donald Trump’s associates, and possibly Trump himself, one day before he held an impromptu news conference announcing his findings and then briefed the president.
Now, Democrats -- including the ranking member on the intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California -- are calling for Nunes’ recusal from the committee’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Nunes said Tuesday he won't step aside.
Here a look at the man leading the House Intelligence Committee:
Age: 43 (Born Oct. 1, 1973)
Family: Nunes and his wife, Elizabeth, have three daughters -- Margaret, Evelyn and Julia. He and his family live in Tulare, California.
Education: Nunes holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and a master’s degree in agriculture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Life before Congress: Born and raised in California, Nunes worked on his family’s farm and raised cattle as a teen.
Before running for Congress, Nunes was appointed the California state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development section by President George W. Bush in 2001.
What he does now:
Nunes currently represents California’s 22nd congressional district, which includes part of Tulare and Fresno counties.
First elected in 2002, Nunes has been serving in the House of Representatives for over 14 years.
Besides chairing the House Intelligence Committee, he also sits on the Committee on Ways and Means.
He also made headlines two years for taking on the Department of Defense regarding the building of an intelligence base in Azores, Portugal. He accused the department of misleading Congress members about the cost of building the intelligence center on the island, and the department fired back, accusing Nunes of being motivated by his ties to the Azores, a group of islands that are part of Portugal, and the Portuguese government. Nunes' family is from the Azores, according to his biography on his website.
Chairing the House Intelligence Committee:
Nunes joined the House Intelligence Committee in 2011 and was appointed chairman by then-House Speaker John Boehner in 2015.
As one of the “Gang of Eight,” Nunes is privy to top secret intelligence reports and classified information.
The committee announced on Jan. 25 that it would launch a bipartisan investigation into Russia’s cyberattacks against the U.S., any intelligence regarding links between the Russian government and campaign individuals, and any possible leaks of classified information.
His relationship with Trump:
During the 2016 primaries, Nunes withheld his endorsement of any particular candidate because he said as House Intelligence Committee chair, he wanted to remain neutral and brief all the candidates.
After Trump clinched the GOP nomination, Nunes came out in support of Trump and organized a fundraiser for the Republican nominee in August 2016.
Nunes was named to the executive committee of Trump’s transition team on Nov. 11, 2016. During the transition phase, he advised Trump on his Cabinet nominees and other top positions within the incoming administration. According to McClatchy, Nunes suggested Gen. James Mattis for defense secretary.
Nunes has been largely supportive of Trump.
However, on Dec. 9, 2015, then-candidate Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslim entry into the U.S., and the day after, Nunes told reporters that he wasn't going to involve himself in the presidential race, but added, “I don’t think that ISIS has any trouble recruiting, but the comments clearly are not helpful.”
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