WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday appointed Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, as ranking member of the Intelligence Committee.
The committee needed a replacement after Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., an ally of former President Donald Trump, announced this year that he will be leaving Congress to become the CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group.
"Congressman Turner’s commitment to this country is unwavering," McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement. "Throughout his long tenure on the Intelligence Committee, Mike established himself as a national security leader and ardent supporter of truth."
Turner's appointment is effective Jan. 1, upon Nunes' resignation, he added.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., oversees the nation's intelligence agencies. It led the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Turner this year co-sponsored a bill introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to overhaul how the military handles sexual assault and other serious crimes. The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021 would professionalize the military justice process by moving the decision to prosecute felony-level, complex criminal cases from unit commanders to high-ranking and experienced military lawyers.
The measure was included in the $770 billion defense bill President Joe Biden signed this month.
Turner has been a critic of Trump, particularly during the former president's first impeachment over allegations that he sought help from Ukraine to bolster his chances of re-election.
"I want to say to the president, this is not OK. That conversation is not OK. And I think it's disappointing to the American public when they read the transcript," Turner said at a 2019 hearing with acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire.