Judge: Devin Nunes of California may sue MSNBC. Where are his affairs

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A federal judge has ruled that former congressman Devin Nunes can sue the parent company of MSNBC over a statement made by Rachel Maddow on her show of the same name.

In a 22-page order issued Monday, Judge P. Kevin Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote that Nunes’ legal team could “plausibly allege malice” in Maddow’s comments about the package addressed to the congressman from a Ukrainian lawmaker. Russian connections.

Since 2019, the California Republican has filed 10 lawsuits against media organizations and individuals who he claims have defamed him or conspired to damage his reputation. Judges have dismissed many of the cases, and Nunes has dismissed some of them.

Nunes, who represented the region around Fresno and Tulare in Congress for nearly a decade, resigned In January of last year, he became the CEO of former President Donald Trump’s social media company. Social truth. But the trial continued.

Here’s where all of Nunes’ lawsuits stand:

Nunes v. MSNBC

In March 2021, Maddow said Nunes “refused to surrender [the package] to the FBI, what you should do if you receive anything from someone who is under US sanctions as a Russian agent.”

Castel did not decide whether the statement was made with actual malice, the standard that public figures must meet in defamation lawsuits to recover damages. Rather, it allows the case to proceed on a single action.

Castel wrote that Maddow did not credit her statement. Although she may have known of a similar allegation regarding the package from the Politico article presented by lawyers for NBCUniversal (MSNBC’s parent company), the court does not “weigh competing, plausible theories” of actual malice when considering the motion to dismiss.

To prove actual malice, Nunes’ attorneys must show that NBCUniversal aired the statement knowing it was false or with reckless disregard for whether it was true.

Nunes argued that Maddow and the network knew the package had been transmitted and that they intended to damage his reputation.

The complaint concerns other statements she made, but Castel found them not to be defamatory and granted NBCUniversal’s motion to dismiss them.

Neither Nunes’ attorneys nor NBCUniversal responded to requests for comment.

Other court cases

Nunez has three more lawsuits: against a magazine and a journalist who wrote about his family’s dairy farm in Iowa, The Washington Post and a parody of a cow and his mother on Twitter.

The former congressman and his family initially filed separate defamation lawsuits against Esquire magazine’s parent company and reporter Ryan Lizza, now at Politico, after a 2018 story said the Nunes family knowingly hired undocumented immigrant farm. Nunez, who is not a stakeholder in the farm, and his family deny they knowingly relied on undocumented workers.

His family filed a separate lawsuit. Judge for the Northern District of Iowa consolidated cases in February. It is scheduled to go to jury trial this spring.

Nunes has sued The Post twice. One action was rejected, but he sued the second time in 2020 over a story that referenced a 2017 “midnight run” to the White House to obtain evidence that the FBI spied on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He said there was never a “northern run”.

Tulare native still trying sue the anonymous authors behind “Devin Nunez’s cow” and “Devin Nunes Alt-Mom” berating him on Twitter. The problem, his lawyer told the court, is that he doesn’t know who they are and can’t serve them.

Judges dismissed claims against CNN, compilers of the so-called Steele dossier and another case against Message. In the same suit against @DevinCow and @NunesAlt, a judge dismissed Twitter and a Republican strategist as defendants.

Nunes dropped cases against McClatchy, which owns The Bee, and former constituents who said the congressman is not a farmer. He also dropped a lawsuit against another ex composite who the California Republican accused of once being married to a cow on Twitter.

Related stories from the Sacramento Bee

Jillian Brasil is a congressional reporter for California-based McClatchy. She covers federal policy, people and issues affecting the Golden State from Capitol Hill. Graduated from Stanford University.

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