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Political Litigation

California Rep. Files Another Defamation Lawsuit, This Time Against NBC, Rachel Maddow

— August 5, 2021

Nunes claims that Maddow made fallacious claims about his unwillingness to part with a package allegedly given to him by a Russian agent.

California Rep. Devin Nunes has filed a defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal and talk-show host Rachel Maddow.

According to The Hill, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Eastern Texas. It cites comments made by Maddow, in which she suggested that Nunes had collaborated with an individual sanctioned by the United States government.

In his lawsuit, Nunes alleged that NBC and Maddow “harbor an institutional hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will” against the California conservative, who has filed at least 10 other defamation suits against his critics.

Attorneys for Nunes claim that Maddow’s criticism of the congressman are based on his “emergence as the most prominent skeptic in the Congress of Maddow’s marquee news narrative from 2017 to 2019: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 presidential elections.”

Specifically, Nunes takes issue with comments made by Maddow in a March 18th segment of her show.

There, Maddow suggested that Nunes had refused to show the Federal Bureau of Investigation the contents of a package he had allegedly received from a suspected Russian agent.

California Rep. Devin Nunes, pictured in 2018. Image via Flickr/user:Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“’Congressman Nunes has refused to answer questions about what he received from Andriy Derkach’,” the lawsuit quotes Maddow as saying. “’He has refused to hand it over to the FBI, which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent.’”

However, Nunes says that NBCUniversal already knew that Nunes had told other reporters that he had already handed the package over to the FBI.

Fox News notes that Nunes’s lawsuit is the latest of several he has filed against media networks in recent years.

In 2019, Nunes attempted to CNN for $435 million, claiming the network aired “false and defamatory” statements about him.

CNN, alleges Nunes, published “numerous egregiously false and defamatory” statements suggesting that Nunes had met with Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to “dig up dirt” on President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

As has reported before, some Republicans and Trump supporters have claimed that Biden used his position as Vice President, under former President Barack Obama, to secure a high-paid consulting position for his son.

However, that lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in February.

Another judge dismissed Nunes’s claim against The Washington Post, after the paper reported that an intelligence official told members of the House Intelligence Committee that the Russian government had developed a particular preference for Trump’s candidacy.

Nunes had also tried suing Twitter over tweets made by a set of parody accounts—styled “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom”—but that, too, was dismissed, with a judge finding that social media companies are broadly not liable for individual users’ content.


Devin Nunes sues MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow — his 10th lawsuit since 2019

Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him

Rep. Nunes accuses Rachel Maddow of defamation in lawsuit against NBCUniversal Media

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