As we have reported here earlier, Representative Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had threatened to sue CNN and other news outlets for libel. He has now made good on those threats.
Last week Nunes sued CNN for defamation, accusing the cable network of publishing a “demonstrably false hit piece” about him amid his high-profile opposition to the Trump impeachment inquiry.
The 47-page lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accuses the left-leaning network of publishing “numerous egregiously false and defamatory” statements about Nunes on Nov. 22, 2019, when journalist Vicky Ward reported claims that Nunes met with Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in Vienna in 2018 to dig “up dirt” on Hunter and Joe Biden.
Nunes, who has been leading GOP opposition to the House Democratic impeachment inquiry in the House Intelligence Committee, says he “did not go to Vienna or anywhere else in Austria in 2018” and “has never met” Shokin.
According to Fox News, who obtained a copy of the suit, it states, “CNN is the mother of fake news. It is the least trusted name. CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony. It must be held accountable.” Nunes is seeking at least $435,350,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit mocks the “trusted” source of CNN’s story, Lev Parnas, a man recently indicted by the U.S. government and charged with multiple federal crimes. The CNN story said Parnas’ attorney told them his client was willing to tell Congress about Nunes’ travels. The lawsuit includes a tweet sent by MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, who publicly questioned Parnas’ credibility.
“It was obvious to everyone – including disgraceful CNN – that Parnas was a fraudster and a hustler,” the suit said. “It was obvious that his lies were part of a thinly-veiled attempt to obstruct justice and to trick either the United States Attorney or House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff into offering ‘immunity’ in return for information’ about [Nunes].”
“The ulterior purpose of the CNN Article is to advance the impeachment inquiry, to seed doubt in the minds of Americans, and to influence the outcome of the 2020 election,” the lawsuit also says. The tone of the lawsuit indicates that Nunes feels “CNN’s goal was to inflict maximum damage” to his reputation so that he would be removed from the impeachment inquiry against Trump. CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has a longstanding feud with Trump, and the network is often criticized for focusing solely on impeachment even at the expense of other important news.
Fox reports that CNN has not responded to requests for comments.