Trump ally Devin Nunes’ defamation case against the Washington Post thrown out by DC judge

California congressman sued the newspaper over story about Russia wanting to see the president re-elected

Harriet Alexander
Sunday 27 December 2020 16:12 GMT
Devin Nunes has sued at least seven media companies over reports about him
Devin Nunes has sued at least seven media companies over reports about him

Donald Trump's staunch ally Devin Nunes has had his defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post thrown out by a judge.

Mr Nunes, a representative for California, sued the newspaper in March after they published a story about a conversation he had with Mr Trump. He claimed that the paper had misinterpreted his conversation.

The article, titled “Senior intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump re-elected,” claimed that intelligence official Shelby Pierson told members of the House Intelligence Committee that Russia had "developed a preference" for Mr Trump.

The paper reported that Mr Trump “learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally.”

The article claimed that when Mr Trump learned of the analysis, he grew angry at then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

On Thursday a Washington DC judge, Amit Mehta, ruled that the newspaper did not act "with 'actual malice,' that is, with 'knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.'"

Kris Coratti, vice president of communications for the Post, said: “We are pleased with the outcome.”

Mr Nunes has filed multiple lawsuits against several media outlets and other companies in recent years, including CNN, Esquire and Twitter.

A federal judge ruled in June that the congressman could not sue Twitter over parody accounts that post in character as Mr Nunes's cow and mother.

Mr Nunes filed another defamation suit against The Washington Post last month, taking issue with an article from November that referenced a widely-reported visit Mr Nunes made to the White House in early 2017. That case is still pending.

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