Rep. Devin Nunes files $435 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Alonzo Simpson
December 4, 2019

As the impeachment hearings of US President Donald Trump gather momentum surrounding accusations that the president pressured Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating allegations of corruption against Joe and Hunter Biden, Trump allies are attempting to fight back.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Tuesday sued CNN for defamation in a $435 million action regarding last month's report that claimed that he had traveled to Vienna a year ago to find negative information on former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.

The Washington Times first reported on the lawsuit Tuesday, quoting the complaint as saying "Devin Nunes has never met Viktor Shokin". He then proceeded to impugn the credibility of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff-who, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, spearheaded the beginning of the impeachment proceedings against the president.

Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, filed a lawsuit against the network on Tuesday, seeking damages of more than $435 million.

Bondy also told CNN that Parnas would be willing to testify that Nunes met with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin.

The Nov. 23 CNN story disclosed an attorney for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, said that his client would testify under oath that Nunes had made such a trip.

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CNN's report did not independently verify or disprove Bondy's claims.

However, as Newsweek reported on December 4, Nunes has admitted to speaking to Giuliani on the phone-albeit for reasons unrelated to Ukraine-and said that it is "possible" that he spoke on the phone to Parnas.

"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", the lawsuit says. It is the least trusted name. "It must be held accountable", according to court documents.

"Did you ever talk to this guy, Lev Parnas, whoever it is?"

The call records that Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released show Nunes speaking with Parnas and Giuliani on multiple occasions in the days leading up to Yovanovitch's dismissal. "What was claimed about Devin on CNN, on a national news media, is that he went to Vienna to meet with individuals".

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