WASHINGTON (CN) — President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom on Monday to Congressmen Devin Nunes, and Trump’s fellow ally, Representative Jim Jordan, is slated to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor next week.
In a news release Monday, White House officials praised Nunes for his confrontational attitude toward the Iran Nuclear deal and for what they called his “investigation into the Obama-Biden administration’s misconduct” during the 2016 election.
Reserved for Americans who have made meritorious contributions to U.S. national interests, world peace or other cultural accomplishments, the award was created by President John F. Kennedy through executive order in 1945.
Over the years it has gone to such figures as T.S. Eliot, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Mother Teresa.
Nunes and Jordan will be the 20th and 21st to receive the medal under Trump, who has utilized the award largely to recognize sports celebrities like Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, Jerry West, Mariano Rivera, Jim Ryun, as well as the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and radio shock-jock Rush Limbaugh.
Jordan’s ceremony will take place next week, according to Washington Post reporting.
The White House lauded Nunes on Monday as a lawmaker who “began to unearth the crime of the century,” in relation to the now-infamous Steele dossier reports, which spurned the Senate’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
“Devin Nunes’ courageous actions helped thwart a plot to take down a sitting United States president,” the release states. “Devin’s efforts led to the firing, demotion, or resignation of over a dozen FBI and DOJ employees. … Congressman Nunes pursued the Russia Hoax at great personal risk and never stopped standing up for the truth.”
Trump has also flexed his appointment powers over the last four years of his administration to reward some of his most vocal allies.
Jordan, for example, was bumped from the House’s Oversight Committee to its Judiciary Committee shortly after his defense of Trump on the House’s Oversight Committee during the president’s impeachment trial.
The president also tapped former House Republican John Ratcliffe, soon after defending the president during the House’s impeachment investigation in the intelligence committee, to receive more responsibility as the director of national intelligence. Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination in the summer only to see it reanimated six months later.
Limbaugh, who hosts a self-titled national radio program, was bestowed with the Medal of Freedom shortly after the Senate voted to acquit the president of all charges in a tumultuous impeachment trial.
With the expiration date of the Trump administration rapidly approaching, the White House has reportedly been bombarded with requests to the president to be awarded a Medal of Freedom. Bobby Bowden, a former Florida State University football coach, also is reportedly under consideration for the award.
A little over two weeks remain until Biden’s electoral college victory is affirmed with the Scranton native’s inauguration ceremony. That ceremony, normally attracting Americans from across the country to Washington, D.C., will be held virtually this year in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic that has taken more than 351,000 lives.
With 123, President Barack Obama awarded the most medals of any sitting president, honoring John Lewis, Desmond Tutu and Maya Angelou. His last award, with distinction, went to President-elect Joe Biden in 2017.
The White House did not return a request for comment Monday.
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