Politics Congressman Devin Nunes Resigns to Run New Trump Media Company Nunes was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 By Virginia Chamlee Virginia Chamlee Politics Writer - PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 4, 2022 02:14 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Devin Nunes. Photo: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017. Nunes said Friday that Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, volunteered to be interviewed by committee members. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Devin Nunes officially resigned from Congress on Saturday, stepping down from his elected position as the representative for California's 22nd Congressional District in order to become the CEO of former President Donald Trump's new media company. Nunes, 48, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 and previously worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a statement released by the Trump Media & Technology Group last month, Nunes confirmed his plans to take on a new role there, saying, "The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship." "The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream," the statement continued. "I'm humbled and honored President Trump has asked me to lead the mission and the world class team that will deliver on this promise." Rep. Devin Nunes Retiring from Congress to Become CEO of Trump Media Group Trump's eponymous new company was announced in October and described itself as a planned "rival to the liberal media consortium [to] fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America." While the Trump Media & Technology Group currently lists several prospective brands on its website, including "Truth Social," it has not yet launched them. The company has also drawn scrutiny for its connection to a separate company with which it intends to merge. Former President Donald Trump has long suggested he might try to get involved in his own social media or news company. He was banned from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a slew of other major major platforms after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent scene last January. According to the October release, a nationwide rollout of the new media company is "expected in the first quarter of 2022." There is a waiting list for those hoping to get an invite to Truth Social, though Twitter users have said they've had problems in attempting to sign up and register for the site. New York Attorney General Subpoenas Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr.: Report In his own statement released last month, Trump said Nunes, a staunch ally while in Congress, would make an "excellent" CEO of the new firm. "Devin understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great," Trump said. "America is ready for TRUTH Social and the end to censorship and political discrimination." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Nunes served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee while Republicans were in power during the Trump administration. He faced intense Democratic criticism over his handling of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and was a vocal critic of special counsel Robert Mueller. Nunes also served on the executive committee leading Trump's transition team after the 2016 election, giving recommendations on national security picks. Nunes' departure from Congress comes ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. According to CNN, his former district had become more Democratic during redistricting.