Local Fresno paper pegs Devin Nunes as an outright conspiracy theories: ‘Our own Justice Department says so’

Local Fresno paper pegs Devin Nunes as an outright conspiracy theories: ‘Our own Justice Department says so’
Gage Skidmore

California Rep. Devin Nunes, the far-right Republican congressman who has been the butt of jokes for filing a frivolous lawsuit against Twitter over the parody account Devin Nunes’ Cow, sees himself as a traditional conservative. But Nunes’ critics see him as a conspiracy theorist with a taste for the absurd and the ridiculous — so absurd, in fact, that a local newspaper in the Central California district he represents is calling him out. That newspaper is the Fresno Bee, and the Bee’s Marek Warszawski stresses in an October 9 opinion column that some prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) share that view of Nunes.

Nunes was reelected in 2018 via California’s 22nd Congressional District, which includes areas of Fresno County, Tulare County and the San Joaquin Valley area. But he is by no means universally loved in that part of the state. And Nunes, Warszawski notes in the Fresno Bee op-ed, has aggressively promoted the Uranium One conspiracy theory — which claims that the Obama Administration conspired with the Russian government in order to enrich Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, and which DOJ itself has debunked.

“Nunes offered no evidence for what’s become known as the Uranium One conspiracy,”  Warszawski explains. “Nonetheless, the right-wingers nodded their heads.”

But the label “conspiracy theorist” in reference to Nunes, according to Warszawski, is now coming “straight from prosecutors who work for the Justice Department — you know, that branch of our federal government that’s responsible for the enforcement of law and administration of justice in the United States.”

The Fresno Bee columnist points out that this month, Mark Lambert (former president of the company that transported Uranium to the U.S.) is scheduled to go on trial “for allegedly paying bribes to Russians in order to win their business.” And McClatchy’s Kevin G. Hall has reported that in one of the documents used in that federal case, DOJ describes the Uranium One theory as a conspiracy theory.

Evidence being presented in the case, Warszawski explains, shows that “the allegations against Lambert are in no way tied to the Uranium One deal.”

Even though the Uranium One conspiracy theory has been debunked by the DOJ, Warszawski laments in the Bee, there are still people on the right who will automatically believe what Nunes has to say. But to those who aren’t gullible, Warszawski asserts, the California congressman is devoid of credibility — and he reflects badly on that part of Central California.

“This might be a radical viewpoint,” Warszawski writes, “but I believe members of the House of Representatives should actually work for the betterment of the people in their district. Nunes obviously doesn’t agree. He’s too busy filing frivolous lawsuits against his critics, peddling conspiracy theories and applying makeup for constant appearances on Fox News.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.