FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Valley congressman Devin Nunes heads the House Intelligence Committee, and he will play a key role in this week's hearings regarding the President's wiretapping allegations.
The election of President Donald Trump has helped raise the profile of the Visalia Republican.
"We know there was not a physical wiretap at Trump Tower," Nunes said. "However, it's still possible other surveillance actions were used against President Trump and his associates."
Nunes has now become a familiar face outside of the Valley. Nunes served on President Trump's transition team, but as House Intelligence Chair, he disputed Trump's twitter claim former president Obama wire-tapped his building.
"Are you going to take the tweets literally? And if you are, then clearly the President was wrong," Nunes told Congress.
"He's not just an 'I will support Trump at all costs' and that's encouraging," political science professor Ken Friesen explained.
Friesen, a Fresno Pacific professor, says President Trump's views and Valley needs pose an interesting challenge for congressman Nunes.
"Immigration, obviously, and the whole issue of the wall," he said. "So, he's balancing off-the-fact that he's got a lot of farmers' interests but also obviously a lot of potential Mexican-American interests in terms of immigration."
Water has long been a critical Valley issue. Fresno GOP leader Mike Der Manouel says he has been disappointed by both parties but is hopeful Congressman Nunes can be part of a leadership team which increases the flow of irrigation water to local farms.
"I just want people to fix problems, and neither side has," he said. "So, I'm suspect of everybody expecting a lot. Devin certainly has the position to influence things much more than he ever has and I hope he does."
Friesen says Nunes' responses will determine his standing within the intelligence community and among Republicans and Democrats.