Rep. Mike Turner tapped to replace Nunes on House Intel panel

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has selected longtime Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to serve as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, succeeding the departing Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Turner, 61, was the most senior Republican member of the panel tasked with overseeing America’s intelligence agencies.

In a statement, McCarthy praised Turner for his past work on national security issues, including a two-year stint as the president of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly ending in November 2016.

“Throughout his long tenure on the Intelligence Committee, Mike established himself as a national security leader and ardent supporter of truth,” McCarthy said. “Mike’s leadership of the committee will continue the great work of Congressman Nunes who has led the committee with integrity. Every American committed to the security and safety of this country should be well-assured of Congressman Turner’s leadership of the House Intelligence Committee.”

Nunes announced earlier this month that he would be leaving Congress effective in January to become the CEO of former President Donald Trump’s new social media company.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy lauded Rep. Mike Turner as an “ardent supporter of truth.”
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In a separate statement, Nunes praised Turner as “an extremely valuable fighter for House Intelligence Committee Republicans.”

“He was instrumental in the work we did to expose the Russia collusion hoax, and he was a major asset in demolishing the Democrats’ ridiculous accusations during the first impeachment of President Trump,” he added. “I have every confidence Mike will be a fearless and skillful leader for Intelligence Committee Republicans and will perform rigorous oversight over the Intelligence Community.”

Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio
Ohio Rep. Mike Turner argued former President Trump should not have been impeached for his alleged talks with Ukraine.
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A former mayor of Dayton, Turner was first elected to the House in 2002. He was singled out for praise by Trump late in 2019, when the House Intelligence Committee held hearings to investigate whether the 45th president conditioned a White House visit and the release of military aid to Ukraine on the Kiev government investigating then-former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The probe later led to Trump’s first impeachment by the House of Representatives.

“I do not believe what the president did is okay,” Turner told the Dayton Daily News at the time. “I’ve told the president directly that I think people of Ohio don’t want to hear the president on the phone talking to another president of another country about people who are his opponents. But I certainly haven’t seen anything that rises to the level of impeachment.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R - California)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says Rep. Mike Turner played a big role in exposing the “Democrats’ ridiculous accusations” on former President Donald Trump.
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While decisions about who sits on and leads most Congressional committees are made by each party’s steering committee, assignments for the intelligence panel and other select committees are determined by the House speaker and minority leader.

The House Intelligence Committee is currently chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)