Fundraising surges for Devin Nunes' 2020 opponents following a week of cataclysmic news for the incumbent congressman
Rep. Devin Nunes speaks to a crowd at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Image via CSIS/Creative Commons.

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is getting headlines for his impassioned defense of President Donald Trump -- while his 2020 challengers are landing campaign contributions.

On Saturday, his hometown newspaper reported on the dynamic under the headline, "Devin Nunes’ impeachment defense marks a breakthrough — for his opponents."

"Rep. Devin Nunes’ week at the forefront of President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings highlighted the catch-22 facing the congressman as he prepares for a 2020 re-election campaign: The more visible he is, the more power his opponents have to run against him," The Fresno Bee reported Saturday.

The newspaper even noted the #DevinNunesIsAnIdiot hashtag that was used to mock him during the televised impeachment inquiry hearings.

Nunes' profile has allowed his Democratic opponents to raise money to challenge the Fresno Republican in 2020.

"Phil Arballo, a small businessman who has raised the most money in trying to unseat Nunes in 2020, since the start of the impeachment hearings has raised more than $235,000. That’s with an average contribution of $22 from more than 9,000 individual contributors, according to his campaign," The Bee reported. "Bobby Bliatout, who came in third in the primary against Nunes and Democrat Andrew Janz in 2018, had an '800 percent increase in fundraising' over the week, compared to the previous two weeks, according to Tom Dallas, his campaign manager."

The Nunes lawsuits have also backfired, helping his opponents.

"Nunes has filed five lawsuits against Twitter, political adversaries and news media organizations this year alleging they conspired to damage his re-election chances and harm his ability to lead the House Intelligence Committee," the newspaper noted. "Those lawsuits also have magnified the audiences of Nunes’ opponents."

On Saturday, one of the targets of the lawsuits blasted Nunes as "total traitor garbage."