Devin Nunes' income called into question as watchdog asks for investigation of his finances
Devin Nunes speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

According to a report from the Fresno Bee,the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center is requesting a federal investigation into whether U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) is receiving legal services in violation of House ethics rules.

Over the past year, the conservative Republicans has launched a handful of lawsuits against critics -- including the McClatchy newspaper chain and a person on Twitter purporting to be one of his cows.

According to the Bee, "The complaint says Nunes appears to be in 'blatant violation of House rules,' because he would have trouble paying for all these lawsuits solely from his congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The group argues he’d only be able to pay if he received legal services for free, at a discounted rate, or based on a contingency fee, meaning the lawyer would get compensated from Nunes’ winnings if he prevails in his lawsuits."

Noting that Nunes has yet to file a legal expense fund with the Office of Congressional Ethics," the reports adds, "In all of those cases, the complaint says, Nunes must disclose the legal help he is receiving by filing a legal expense fund, otherwise it would represent an illegal gift given to Nunes under congressional ethics rules."

In the complaint the CLC maintained, "“Representative Nunes’s overt involvement with the highly-publicized lawsuits threatens to establish a precedent that the Legal Expense Fund (“LEF”) regulations no longer apply to Members,Although Representative Nunes is entitled to legal representation and he may pursue any legal action to protect and defend his interests, he must comply with House rules. An (Office of Congressional Ethics) investigation will preserve Representative Nunes’s legal right to counsel while upholding well-established House rules and precedent.”