Following a CNN report claiming that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) met with Ukrainian officials to uncover dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, the Congressman is now suing the outlet for defamation.
Nunes filed a lawsuit seeking $435 million in damages for what he called a “demonstrably false hit piece,” which he said was written to “disseminate the false and defamatory statements” and is “part of a scheme to boost CNN’s ratings and further the House Democrats’ impeachment ‘inquiry.'”
On November 22, CNN’s Vicky Ward published an article that claimed Nunes met with the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Victor Shokin, in Vienna in 2018 to try to get dirt on Biden. She attributed the report to the lawyer for an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas.
In his suit, Nunes denies that he was in Vienna in 2018, and says that he was instead in Libya on a “fact-finding mission.”
“Plaintiff was not in Vienna in 2018. Between November 30, 2018, and December 3, 2018, when CNN claims Plaintiff was in ‘Vienna,’ Plaintiff was actually in Libya and Malta. While in Libya, the delegation traveled to Benghazi on a fact-finding mission in which they met with General Haftar to discuss security issues both inside Libya and in the wider region.”
Nunes said that it was “possible” he spoke with Parnas but added that in his role on the House Intelligence Committee, he speaks with a lot of people.
“We have Americans and foreigners contacting us every single day with information.”
Nunes attacked Parnas’ credibility, calling him an “indicted criminal” and lashed out at CNN for using him as a source despite being “well-aware” that Parnas was a “fraudster” and “renowned liar.”
“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. CNN and Ward knew that Parnas was not just a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he was a ‘radioactive’ wolf.”
After the CNN report was published, Nunes threatened to sue the network claiming that he could not “debate this out with the public media, when 90 percent of the media are totally corrupt.”
CNN’s John King blasted Nunes for that threat and urged him to release exculpatory information to counter the allegations in his network’s article.