Nunes Strikes Again: Congressman Files Suit Against McClatchy For $150 Million

on February 1, 2018 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) took another jab at a Republican communication strategist, as well as The McClatchy Company that publishes a paper in his home state, on Monday evening, in a new $150 million lawsuit.

Nunes alleges that communication strategist Liz Mair conspired with the Fresno Bee to attempt to derail the lawmaker’s efforts as then-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to investigate the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the suit, which was first obtained by Fox News.

It’s the second suit Nunes has filed in as many months that lists Mair as a co-defendant. In March he sued Mair, alongside Twitter and two absurd troll accounts — “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom” — for $250 million for defamation. He alleged in his first suit, which is chock full of embarrassing memes, that Twitter allowed Mair and the two troll accounts to function and harass him. That suit was also first obtained by Fox News.

The suit filed in Virginia on Monday centers on a May 23, 2018 story written by journalist MacKenzie Mays with the headline, “A yacht, cocaine and prostitutes: Winery partly owned by Nunes sued after fundraiser event.” The story outlines the premise of a 2015 lawsuit against the top investors in a Napa Valley winery, which is partly owned by Nunes. That 2015 suit reportedly alleges that at a charity event the investors used cocaine and hired a sex worker, but Nunes was not there or involved.

In his new suit, Nunes picks apart the article, alleging there were strategic choices made in the writing and sharing of the story on social media that were meant to target him. Nunes also alleges that Mays has used Mair as a source in her other stories and didn’t disclose the nature of her job.

“Mays concealed the fact that Mair is an opposition research operative who admittedly smears targets, such as Nunes, for pay from as-yet anonymous clients,” the complaint said. “This was a crucial omission, since it would have revealed Mair’s motives and cast grave doubt on her credibility and veracity and on the credibility and veracity of her handlers.”

McClatchy did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.

Mair told TPM she couldn’t comment beyond “what you’ve seen out of my office.” In a series of tweets on Monday and Tuesday, Mair, who has changed her Twitter name to “BeingSuedByDevinNunes,” asked followers to donate to her legal defense fund and said the suits were just efforts to “stifle your, my and every Americans’ free speech.” An auto reply email pointed reporters to her USA op-ed, in which she addressed the first suit.

Read the full lawsuit below:

Complaint – 4.8.19 Mcclatchy 2 by on Scribd

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