News and Commentary

Devin Nunes Hits CNN With Massive Lawsuit Over ‘Demonstrably False’ Ukraine Report
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., makes his way into the Capitol for the last votes in the House before the Memorial Day recess on May 24, 2018.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) slapped CNN with a massive lawsuit seeking nearly half a billion dollars on Tuesday over a report last month that he says was “demonstrably false” which claimed that an indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was willing to testify that Nunes met with a Ukrainian prosecutor last year in Vienna to dig up dirt on former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Fox News reported that the 47-page lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks “at least $435,350,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.”

“CNN is the mother of fake news. It is the least trusted name. CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony. It must be held accountable,” the lawsuit, obtained by Fox News, states. “The ulterior purpose of the CNN Article is to advance the impeachment inquiry, to seed doubt in the minds of Americans, and to influence the outcome of the 2020 election.”

The lawsuit came in response to a CNN report last month that stated: “The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.”

“Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” Bondy told CNN. “Nunes had told Shokin of the urgent need to launch investigations into Burisma, Joe and Hunter Biden, and any purported Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.”

CNN reported that Bondy claimed that Parnas and Nunes began communicating with each other around the time of the Vienna trip and that Parnas worked to set Nunes up with Ukrainian government officials who could begin looking into Biden.

Nunes slammed the story shortly after it was published last month, telling Breitbart News: “These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth. Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.”

CNN claimed last month that they began to ask Nunes questions about his Vienna trip in mid-November and that he responded to their questions by stating: “I don’t talk to you in this lifetime or the next lifetime. At any time. On any question.”

CNN said when it published it report that it again asked Nunes to comment on it and that he again responded: “To be perfectly clear, I don’t acknowledge any questions from you in this lifetime or the next lifetime. I don’t acknowledge any question from you ever.”