One of the not-so-illustrious faces of the GOP today, Devin Nunes, is suing media outlet CNN … for $435,350,000. Yep, folks … you read it right. $435 million and change! I would love to know how he came up with that figure … heck, his life isn’t worth that much! His net worth is estimated at $158,001 (the extra dollar … who knows … maybe the Tooth Fairy?). He may well be the poorest member of Congress!
So why, you ask, is he suing CNN? He is suing because last month CNN published what Nunes now claims to be a “demonstrably false hit piece.” The story reported that in December 2018, while serving as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes traveled to Vienna and met with Ukrainian former prosecutor general Victor Shokin to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden. Funny, isn’t it, that the entire focus of Trump & Co these days is on Joe Biden?
Now, I don’t claim that CNN or any of the other news outlets are above embellishing on a story from time-to-time, but unlike Fox, Breitbart and others, they are not into conspiracy theories. They report actual news. Their source for the November 22nd story was an attorney for Lev Parnas, a now-indicted business associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani. The attorney, Joseph Bondi, says Mr. Parnas would be willing to testify to Congress under oath. CNN contacted Nunes’ office multiple times before publishing the story, asking for a response from him, but he refused to return their calls.
Nunes’ complaint is 47 pages long … lawyers always manage to write 50 pages for what could easily have been said in 2-3 sentences … and accuses Parnas of manufacturing a narrative that he hoped would help him negotiate a deal with federal prosecutors or obtain immunity from Congress. So … why isn’t he suing Mr. Parnas?
Records disclosed Tuesday in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry report show phone calls between Nunes and Giuliani as well as between Nunes and Parnas earlier this year. Nunes says he remembers speaking with Giuliani, but that it was all perfectly innocent, and he doesn’t remember speaking with Mr. Parnas. I guess he has a ‘convenient memory’ like Trump, eh?
Nunes claims that CNN published the story in order to damage his reputation and ensure his removal from the ongoing impeachment inquiry. It seems to me that Nunes is trying to catch up to Trump in the number of lawsuits to his name. Trump has been either plaintiff or defendant in over 6,000 lawsuits during his 73 years, so while Nunes has some catching up to do, he’s certainly trying (in more ways than one).
In March, he filed a lawsuit for $250 million against Twitter, claiming that two parody Twitter accounts (one called “Devin Nunes’ Cow”) and a Republican political consultant defamed him with mean tweets. Awwww … pobrecito! In August, he sued McClatchy news organization for another $250 million, alleging defamation. And in October he sued Ryan Lizza and Hearst Magazines for $77 million, claiming that a story in Esquire about the Nunes family farm in Iowa defamed him.
An interesting aside … the Devin Nunes’ Cow Twitter account had only about 1,000 followers until Mr. Nunes filed the lawsuit, and then it’s readership skyrocketed to 667,000! It seems to me that Mr. Nunes has very thin skin. As I was writing this post, the thought occurred to me that perhaps it would be fun to mail him a box of tissues to dry his tears. Hey, maybe he would then sue me! That could be fun, for as the old saying goes, “you can’t get blood out of a turnip”!
The irony here is priceless, for in 2017, Devin Nunes co-sponsored HR 1179 – Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act.
Just think, if Nunes were to win all these lawsuits, he would increase his net worth from his present $158,001 to $1,012,508,001. That’s it, folks! I’ve got it now! He wants to become a billionaire like so many of his peers! All these lawsuits could put him just over the billion-dollar mark! Except … one small problem … I don’t think he’s likely to win a single one of them!