(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, announced on Monday he is filing $150 million lawsuit against The McClatchy Company and others for conspiracy and defamation.
“This is a case about character assassination and a public company that weaponized its powerful pen and used it as a terrible sword,” the lawsuit states in its introduction.
Throughout 2018, McClatchy and its reporter, MacKenzie Mays, acting in concert with a Virginia political operative and her handlers, schemed to defame Plaintiff and destroy his reputation. The central purpose of the scheme was to interfere with Plaintiff’s Congressional investigation of corruption by the Clinton campaign and alleged “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
Using the enormous power of McClatchy’s nation-wide resources, McClatchy and its co-conspirators relentlessly attacked Plaintiff both in print and digitally -– falsely and maliciously accusing Plaintiff of horrible crimes and improprieties, falsely attributing to him knowledge he did not have, implying that he was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes, and imputing to Plaintiff dishonesty, unethical behavior, lack of integrity, and an unfitness to serve as a United States Congressman.
Defendants’ statements were knowingly false and grossly offensive. They evince a heedless, palpable and reckless disregard for the truth.
Nunes told Fox News’s Sean Hannity Monday night that some of McClatchey’s reporters “were the biggest perpetuators of the Russia hoax.”
“So all of this was done in concert while they were slandering and attacking me, defaming me, attacking Republicans,” Nunes said. “And the whole time they were getting this information from someone. And so part of the lawsuit here is not only that they need to retract everything that they did against me, but they also need to come clean with the American people, retract all of their fake news stories.
“And so this is part of the broader cleanup,” Nunes continued. “So remember, a few weeks ago I filed against Twitter, that they’re censoring conservatives. Mcclatchy is one of the biggest — the worst offenders of this. But we’re coming after the rest of them. I think people are just beginning to wake up now that I’m serious — I’m coming to clean up all of the mess. So if you’re out there and you lied and you defamed, we’re going to come after you.”
Nunes’ most recent lawsuit against McClatchy includes specific reports in the Fresno Bee that he considers defamatory.
Nunes’ lawsuit says McClatchey and one of its reporters worked in tandem with public relations consultant Liz Mair in a “concerted defamation campaign” intended to “cause immense pain, intimidate, interfere with and divert Nunes’ attention from his investigation of corruption and alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election.
“The substance and timing of the publication of McClatchy’s online articles and the tweets, retweets, replies and likes by Mair and McClatchy reporters demonstrates that McClatchy and Mair were engaged in a joint effort, together and with others, to defame Nunes and interfere with his duties, employment and investigations of corruption as a United States Congressman.
“The attacks on Nunes were pre-planned, calculated, orchestrated and undertaken by multiple individuals acting in concert, over a continuous period of time throughout 2018. The full scope of the conspiracy, including the names of all participants and the level of involvement of any agents or instrumentalities of foreign governments, is unknown at this time and will be the subject of discovery in this action.”
Nunes wants a jury trial.
Liz Mair, of Mair Strategies, is also named in Nunes’ $250-million lawsuit against Twitter and some of its users, who, Nunes said, defamed him.
Both of Nunes’ lawsuits were filed in Virginia courts.