by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2019
Rep. Devin Nunes has filed a $435 million defamation lawsuit against CNN for the leftist cable network’s report which claimed the California Republican had in 2018 traveled to Austria to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
Nunes called the Nov. 22 report by CNN a “demonstrably false hit piece.”
“Devin Nunes did not go to Vienna or anywhere else in Austria in 2018,” says the lawsuit.
“CNN is the mother of fake news,” the lawsuit says. “It is the least trusted name. CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony. It must be held accountable.”
CNN’s report on Nov. 22 claimed that Nunes had met with former Ukrainian chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
“Devin Nunes has never met Viktor Shokin,” says the complaint, filed on Dec. 3 in U.S. District Court in Richmond. “This meeting never took place. Viktor Shokin doesn’t know and hasn’t even heard of Devin Nunes.”
The CNN report also alleged that Nunes had begun communicating with Lev Parnas around the same time he allegedly met with Shokin.
According to a Dec. 3 report by The Washington Times, Parnas is a Soviet-born U.S. citizen and Florida businessman who became a source for Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, when Giuliani was investigating Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election
“Devin Nunes did not communicate with Parnas in December 2018,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says CNN’s source was Parnas, who is currently under house arrest after being charged by federal prosecutors with illegally donating foreign money to U.S. political campaigns and committees as a way to gain influence.
Nunes said CNN should have known the Vienna tale was false: “From all the evidence in its possession, CNN was well-aware that Parnas was a renowned liar, a fraudster, a hustler, an opportunist with delusions of grandeur, a man in financial in extremis laboring under the weight of a $500,000 civil judgment, and an indicted criminal defendant with a clear motive to lie,” his lawsuit says.
Nunes said that once Parnas made bail, his goal was to concoct stories that might win him immunity from prosecution.
“It was obvious to everyone — including disgraceful CNN — that Parnas was a fraudster and a hustler,” the lawsuit says. “It was obvious that his lies were part of a thinly-veiled attempt to obstruct justice and to trick either the United States Attorney or House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff into offering ‘immunity’ in return for ‘information’ about Plaintiff — a prominent United States Congressman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.”
The lawsuit says Parnas concocted other stories. Parnas told CNN that after Giuliani introduced him to Trump at a White House Hanukkah party, he huddled privately with the president to discuss a mission to find dirt on Biden.
Giuliani says Parnas attended a one-minute photo op and there was no meeting.
The complaint says all of Parnas’ allegations to CNN came through his New York attorney, Joseph A. Bondy.
Nunes said he also plans to sue The Daily Beast over its Parnas story.
The Washington Times report noted that “For a public figure such as Nunes, the bar is high for winning a libel suit. The plaintiff must show that not only a story was false but also that the news organization knew it was wrong or had ‘actual malice.’ ”
Nunes’ complain can be viewed here