Twitter wants a judge to toss the civil suit that Rep. Devin Nunes has brought against the social media platform for $250 million, arguing it’s in violation of the company’s user agreement for Nunes to have brought the suit in Virginia.
In a motion filed late last week, Twitter’s lawyers argued the company is not “at home” in Virginia, where Nunes has opted to file the suit and the Henrico County court has no “personal jurisdiction over Twitter.”
Additionally, when users sign up for a Twitter account and agree to the social media platform’s Terms of Service, users agree to bring any lawsuit against the company’s terms in the state of California, which is coincidentally the congressman’s home state.
“Accordingly, all claims against Twitter should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue,” the suit said.
Twitter confirmed to TPM it filed the motion to dismiss.
“We enforce the Twitter Rules impartially for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation,” a spokesperson told TPM. “We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our efforts.”
Experts theorize that Nunes’ suit against Twitter, as well as Republican strategist Liz Mair and two troll accounts — “farcically posing as his ‘Cow’ and his ‘Mom,'” as Twitter described the accounts in dismissal motion — is simply an effort to fundraise for his next reelection.
Lawyers for McClatchy, the publisher of the Fresno Bee — which Nunes also sued alongside Mair for $150 million — plan to file a similar motion to dismiss the lawmaker’s suit against them. One of McClatchy’s main lines of defense is similar to Twitter’s: There’s no reason the suit should have been brought in Virginia, instead of California, where McClatchy has had its headquarters for 100-plus years.
In his colorful suit against Twitter, Nunes argues that the suit should be brought in Virginia because that is where Mair lives and where she likely was when she posted tweets he views as defamatory.
“The sole injurious actions alleged to have taken place in Virginia were not taken by Twitter but by another defendant, Liz Mair. Even if such allegations can establish personal jurisdiction over Mair, they cannot bring Twitter within the bounds of subsection,” the tech giant’s motion said.
Read the full motion to dismiss below: