The giant Fresno ad by Democratic congressional candidate Andrew Janz portrays the two Republicans as squirmy children with stuffed-animal backpacks tethering their child leashes to a smiling Putin. Trump seems to be having a tantrum, but Nunes is smiling and has an ice cream cone in his hand. “You have been a good boy, Devin,” the ad reads, apparently praise from Putin.
Janz tweeted Thursday: “I’m afraid Devin Nunes won’t get to see this awesome new billboard in his honor” because he’s never in his district. Janz, 33, the Fresno County deputy district attorney, launched his campaign to represent California’s 22nd District in April for the 2018 election. Janz has attacked Nunes’ close ties to Trump and his handling of the congressional probe into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, recused himself in April from the probe of Russian activity and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. The move came after he revealed that he had discussed intelligence reports linked to the probe with Trump. Democrats demanded that Nunes — a close Trump ally who worked on the presidential transition team — be investigated for an unauthorized leak of classified information.
Nunes also said that Trump associates and possibly Trump himself had been subjected to incidental surveillance by the Obama administration. He later walked back the claim, and no evidence has been found to support the claim.
Despite his recusal, Nunes has repeatedly attempted to interject himself into the congressional probe. Months after his recusal, he was still demanding a “sign-off” on all subpoenas issued, charged Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the panel’s ranking Democrat.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the position of Andrew Janz. He is the deputy district attorney of Fresno County, not the district attorney.