A federal judge has dismissed a $435 million libel suit that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed against CNN, rejecting his claim over a report related to the first impeachment case against Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote in her opinion that Nunes failed to show that he suffered special damages, or a loss of business or property. She also ruled that he did not demand a retraction from CNN, a key element in pursuing libel cases in California. The judge also said that Nunes had failed to plausibly claim that the network engaged in a conspiracy to defame him.
Nunes sued over a November 22, 2019 report that Lev Parnas, the former associate of Rudy Giuliani, was prepared to tell Congress that Nunes met with Victor Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor, in Vienna last year to discuss “digging up dirt” on Joe Biden. Nunes said he never has met Shokin. He also denies that he took a trip to Vienna in December 2018 or that he communicated with Parnas.
In its briefs, CNN defended the report, noting that it quoted Parnas’ lawyer, Joseph Bondy, on the record. “CNN’s reporting of what Mr. Bondy said on the record, as a lawyer, was truthful and accurate,” the network said. It also noted that it “had made multiple attempts to seek comment from Rep. Nunes prior to reporting this story, but that he and his staff had declined to comment on whether Rep. Nunes had met with Mr. Shokin.”
More to come.
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