'This is a district we shouldn't even be talking about.'
By making himself the point person for the House Republicans’ cover-up of Trump’s Russia scandal, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has catapulted himself out of political obscurity and into the limelight. He’s also attracted a strong Democratic challenger who’s raising a ton of money from grassroots supporters.
Fresno, California-prosecutor Andrew Janz is on pace to raise $1 million this quarter, after banking $635,000 online in the month of February.
Janz not only raised more money online than any another Democrat in California, he raised more online donations than any other Democrat nationwide, except for Conor Lamb, who just posted a stunning House special election victory in Pennsylvania this month.
Nunes’s district voted for Trump by 10 points, which would suggest his re-election is safe. But Pennsylvania 18th District voted for Trump by 20 points and Lamb just got elected there.
It seems no place is safe for Republicans in November, as more and more opt for retirement instead of facing voters again.
“This is a district we shouldn’t even be talking about,” said NBC News’ Alex Seitz-Wald, discussing the Nunes campaign on Monday. “This should be off the map entirely.”
But it’s not off the map. And Trump’s Russia woes are to blame.
As the head of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes was assigned to investigate Russia’s attacks on the 2016 election and find out what the Trump campaign knew about it. Instead, Nunes opted to run interference.
His name even became synonymous with an embarrassing attempt by Republicans to smear and the malign the FBI in hopes of derailing Trump’s Russia woes.
Prior to the release of the so-called Nunes Memo, the Department of Justice wrote a letter warning Nunes not to release the document without giving the DOJ and FBI time to review it, calling the move “extraordinarily reckless.”
None of that has gone unnoticed back in Fresno. “His performance as chairman of the highly sensitive House Intelligence Committee has been nothing short of embarrassing,” the Fresno Bee recently announced, in a stinging editorial takedown of Nunes. “Instead of taking Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election seriously and leading an impartial and bipartisan inquiry, Nunes has colluded with the White House.”
There are just 14 remaining Republican House members of Congress from California, out of the state’s 53-person delegation. After November, that Republican number is expected to shrink even further.