US Rep. Devin Nunes files $150M law­suit against McClatchy Co.

The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY SAM STAN­TON Sam Stan­ton: (916) 321-1091, @Stan­tonSam

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.”

Devin Nunes

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