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McClatchy Reverses Course, Reports Nunes Was Right About Wife’s School Needing Enhanced Security
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) participates in a full committee markup of H.Res.746, that will implement the agreement between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada attached as an Annex to the Protocol Replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement, in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill, December 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Last year, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said in two lawsuits that his wife and the school where she works as a third-grade teacher received threatening messages and were forced to enhance security as a result.

The Fresno Bee, which is owned by McClatchy, did what it could to paint Nunes as a liar, by requesting documents from the school relating to Nunes’ allegations. McClatchy filed a public records request asking for “any correspondence from staff about feeling harassed or documents related to enhanced security measures,” the outlet said in its report of the request.

Terri Rufert, the Sundale Union Elementary School District superintendent, responded to the request by saying the district “does not have any records responsive to these requests.” Rufert wouldn’t answer the outlet’s questions about whether any teachers or staff were harassed or if the school had to increase security.

On Monday, The Daily Wire exclusively reported that a man had been charged with sending threatening messages to Elizabeth Nunes, the congressman’s wife. As The Daily Wire explained, the threats against Elizabeth came after a prolonged political campaign against Rep. Nunes. In 2018, Michael Seeley, a member of the left-wing group Southern California Americans for Democratic Action, filed a California Public Records Act request to obtain Elizabeth Nunes’ work emails. Seeley posted Elizabeth’s emails online in multiple batches. Following the release of the emails, Nunes said his wife and the school district received a wave of harassing phone calls and emails.

After The Daily Wire’s report, the Fresno Bee wrote its own article on the charges against William Joseph Burden, again writing that no records backed up Nunes’ claims that his wife and her school were the targets of harassment and threats. This time, however, Rufert told the outlet that threats had indeed been made to the school prior to the January date listed on the criminal complaint against Burden and that the school did have to take additional security measures due to the threats.

The Fresno Bee and its owner, McClatchy, have a long history of anti-Nunes bias. In 2018, the Bee profiled Nunes and asked in the headline if he was a traitor. It then ran two separate op-eds from Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee with Nunes, accusing the Republican of covering up alleged collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia to steal the 2016 election. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and a subsequent Inspector General report showed, it was Nunes who was correct about the Trump-Russia narrative, not Democrats or their media supporters.

Fresno Bee reporter Kate Irby has also written two separate articles critical of Nunes’ lawyer, Steve Biss, who is representing Nunes in his lawsuit against McClatchy, which he filed after the outlet tried to connect the congressman to a yacht party that took place at a winery partly owned by Nunes.

The article was published in 2018 but featured events that took place in 2015 and had nothing to do with Nunes. Nunes, according to the lawsuit “was (and is) a limited partner of the Alpha Omega Winery.” During a charity event, a third party auctioned off use of the yacht. Those who won the auction went on to use the yacht for a party that allegedly included the use of cocaine and underage prostitutes. An employee of Alpha Omega Winery went on to sue the company because of the event, Nunes’ lawsuit says.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that McClatchy knowingly published false information about the event in order to smear Nunes. For example, the McClatchy article stated that guests on board the yacht were “top investors” in the winery, even though Alpha Omega released a statement in 2016 saying, “No one in the group had any personal or business connection to the winery or its owners, and no Alpha Omega staff knew anyone in the group.”

Also in the article, according to Nunes’ lawsuit, McClatchy claimed that it was “unclear … if he [Nunes] was … affiliated with the fundraiser.” Nunes claims in the lawsuit that McClatchy had been informed by Alpha Omega “that Nunes had no affiliation whatsoever with the event.”

Opinion editors at the Fresno Bee also published an op-ed claiming Nunes “alleged, without evidence, that Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee had sought nude photos of Trump.” In reality, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) fell for a radio prank offering nude photos of Trump. Schiff later claimed he knew it was a prank, but the transcript gives no indication that was the case.

Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle recently published an article revealing that opposition research firm Fusion GPS, the firm behind most of the false Trump-Russia collusion narrative, planted negative Nunes stories in the Fresno Bee.

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