US Rep. Devin Nunes files $150M lawsuit against McClatchy Co.
In his latest legal onslaught against perceived critics of his policies, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, RTulare, filed a $150 million defamation suit Monday in a Virginia circuit court against the McClatchy Co. and a Virginia communications consultant described as a “digital terrorist for hire.”
The lawsuit filed in Albemarle County was obtained by The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday, and Nunes confirmed the lawsuit in a Monday night appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.
Nunes declared that McClatchy reporters need “to come clean with the American people” and retract their “fake news” reports. He said he wants such stories – including one published last year concerning his investment in the Alpha Omega Winery – scrubbed from the internet, and he promised more legal challenges.
The lawsuit, which follows a previous $250 million lawsuit he filed against Twitter and a parody account known as Devin Nunes’ Cow, targets McClatchy for reporting by The Fresno Bee in a “scheme to defame Plaintiff and destroy his reputation.”
McClatchy issued a statement Tuesday rejecting claims Nunes made “based on a story published by his hometown news source, The Fresno Bee.”
“The lawsuit represents a baseless attack on local journalism and a free press,” the statement read. “At a time when local journalism is facing more pressing and urgent challenges, the lawsuit is an unproductive distraction and a misuse of the judicial system.
“Representative Nunes declined the opportunity to talk to reporters from The Fresno Bee last year about his investment in the Alpha Omega Winery, the subject of his claim. Hopefully, he will provide such answers during the litigation.
“Moreover, while he filed his lawsuit in the state of Virginia, California law applies to this case and it outlines steps to demand corrections for the benefit of any individual who feels he or she has been libeled. In the over 10 months since the winery article appeared, Mr. Nunes has not once availed himself of the statute by writing to the Fresno Bee to demand that it publish a correction to any statement made about him.”