Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been a vocal critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The White House lauded Nunes’ “courageous actions” in a statement Monday, claiming he “helped thwart a plot to take down a sitting United States president.”
In 2018, the congressman released the “Nunes Memo,” alleging federal surveillance abuses by the Department of Justice and the FBI under the Obama Biden administration.
“Devin’s efforts led to the firing, demotion, or resignation of over a dozen FBI and DOJ employees,” the White House said. “He also forced the disclosure of documents that proved that a corrupt senior FBI official pursued a vindictive persecution of General Michael Flynn — even after rank and file FBI agents found no evidence of wrongdoing.”
The White House added that Nunes “pursued the Russia Hoax at great personal risk and never stopped standing up for the truth.”
“He had the fortitude to take on the media, the FBI, the Intelligence Community, the Democrat Party, foreign spies, and the full power of the Deep State,” the statement continued.
In April 2017, Nunes briefly recused himself from the committee’s Russia investigation while the Office of Congressional Ethics probed whether he disclosed classified information. The committee cleared Nunes of wrongdoing in December 2017.
“The media smeared him and liberal activists opened a frivolous and unjustified ethics investigation, dragging his name through the mud for eight long months,” the White House argued. “Two dozen members of his family received threatening phone calls – including his 98-year-old grandmother.”
The White House concluded the statement calling Nunes a “public servant of unmatched talent, unassailable integrity, and unwavering resolve” for uncovering “the greatest scandal in American history.”
The award is the nation’s highest civilian honor, given to individuals who have made contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is also expected to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week, according to a source familiar with the matter. Jordan told “Sunday Morning Futures” that he would spearhead an effort in the House of Representatives objecting to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6.
Trump has previously given the medal of freedom to wrestling icon Dan Gable, legendary college football coach Lou Holtz, former Kansas Republican Congressman Jim Ryun, and retired four-star U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane, among others.