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Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan expected to receive the Medal of Freedom

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President Donald Trump planned to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Republican U.S. Reps. Devin Nunes of California and Jim Jordan of Ohio, two of Trump’s staunchest backers on Capitol Hill. The medal, first established by President John F. Kennedy, is the nation’s highest award presented to civilians.

According to media reports Nunes was expected to be presented the medal today. It was unclear when Jordan would receive it at the same time.

Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, led the charge against allegations that Trump had conspired with Russian operatives to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.

Even before Trump took office, Nunes expressed doubt about the buzz in the media that Trump was Vladimir Putin’s stooge. In December 2016, for instance, he questioned the intelligence community over whether the information it held about Trump was being leaked for “political purposes.”

Although subjected to savage partisan attacks on his politics, character and professionalism by Democrats, media pundits and lefty activists, Nunes kept digging. His highlight moment came when he released a four-page memo in February 2018 that outlined how the FBI “may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources” to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Despite liberal attacks on him, Nunes was vindicated in 2019 when the FBI found that agents had relied heavily on the phony Steele dossier to surveil Page.

But as conservative columnist Mollie Hemingway noted recently, it was Nunes who uncovered that Hillary Clinton had funded the dossier by the former British spy, that Obama officials had unjustifiably “unmasked” members of Trump’s transition team on numerous occasions, that the FBI agent who first interviewed Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn did not believe he lied about his contact with Russia’s ambassador and that the wife of a high-ranking Justice Department official was the go-between to relay anti-Trump information gathered by Clinton’s moles.

Jordan, meanwhile, was among the most aggressive of Trump defenders both during the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the supposed Russian collusion and during Trump’s impeachment just over a year ago.

After Democrats took over the House in 2019, for example, Jordan badgered them to allow FBI Inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify about the abuses agents committed in pursuit of Trump’s allies.

Jordan also took a lead role in seeking to defend the president from allegations of wrong-doing during the impeachment probe of Trump’s alleged “quid pro quo” phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats maintained Trump withheld military aid unless Zelensky promised to investigate corruption in Ukraine by the Biden family. Jordan and other Republicans said Trump was concerned about broader corruption issues coming out of Ukraine, but that included whether Joe Biden had threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless it dropped an investigation into a corrupt energy company that employed Biden’s son, Hunter.

Trump in recent years has awarded the Medal of Freedom primarily to sports personalities, such as college football coaching icon Lou Holtz, NBA legend Jerry West, superstar golfer Tiger Woods, and longtime New York Yankees star pitcher Mariano Rivera. But Trump also has presented the honor to talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, economist Arthur Laffer, former Attorney General Ed Meese and posthumously to singer Elvis Presley and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

 

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