A federal judge on Friday threw out a libel lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) against CNN over coverage saying he was involved an effort to dig up dirt on now-President Biden regarding dealings with Ukraine.
U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain threw out the suit, which sought $435 million in damages, on a technicality. Nunes’s legal team argued that the court should apply the laws of Virginia or Washington, D.C. to the case, while Swain said the laws of Nunes’s home state of California should be applied.
“Plaintiff … argues that, if the Court were to look to the place where he suffered the greatest injury, the laws of either Virginia or the District of Columbia should apply because that is where he performs his role overseeing the activities of the Intelligence Community,” Swain, a Clinton appointee, wrote in her ruling.
“Nunes does not proffer any additional facts that support his conclusory statement that he suffered substantial injury in either Virginia or District of Columbia, much less a greater injury there than in the home state that sends him to Congress as the representative of his district. His Amended Complaint alleges that he is a citizen of California and details his long family ties with, and extensive political service in and for, the state of California and its citizens.”
Nunes’s suit centered around a CNN report saying that testimony was forthcoming alleging that the California Republican met with a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2018 to gather damaging information on Biden, who was then planning a run for president. Nunes, who was chair of the House Intelligence Committee at the time, fiercely denied the report and filed an avalanche of lawsuits against CNN.
The news network, a favorite target of former President Trump and his allies, maintained it was not advocating for the veracity of the testimony but merely reporting on what the testimony alleged.
A spokesperson for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
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