Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed a $150 million lawsuit against publisher The McClatchy Company and others, alleging defamation in an effort to interfere with his probe into the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, reported Fox News.
Background: The lawsuit follows Nunes’ recent announcement that he would send 8 criminal referrals to the Justice Department connected to alleged FISA abuses and lying to Congress during the Russia investigation. In March, Nunes filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter and some of its users, saying that the social media platform “shadow-bans” conservatives.
The lawsuit alleges that Republican consultant Liz Mair and McClatchy reporter MacKenzie Mays intentionally spread smears and false information about Nunes. It cited a May 23, 2018 article, published by a McClathy’s publication The Fresno Bee that claims Nunes “was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes.”
Nunes’ remarks: “They need to retract everything they did against me, but they also need to come clean with the American people. Retract all of their fake news stories. This is part of the broader clean-up. Remember, a few weeks ago, I filed against Twitter — they’re censoring conservatives. McClatchy is one of the worst offenders of this. But we’re coming after the rest of them. I think people are beginning to wake up now, I’m serious — I’m coming to clean up the mess.”
Response: Mair pointed Fox News to an op-ed she wrote for the USA Today, headlined: “Free speech means I don’t have to be nice to Devin Nunes on Twitter. So why’s he suing me?” A spokesperson for McClatchy said: We have no comment and stand behind the strong reporting of The Fresno Bee.”