Republican Rep. Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit against MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow over accusations she made against him, calling her and the news network “hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill will.
Nunes sued several news networks that he claims defamed his reputation without any intent to inform the public because he was one of the public faces who, from the beginning, denied that Donald Trump and his team had conspired with the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. This accusation was the basis of the first impeachment attempt against the former president.
The complaint was filed in federal court in Texas and explicitly mentions Maddow’s comments on a March 18 show. She claimed that the lawmaker had refused to turn over to the FBI a package he had received from an alleged Russian agent.
“Congressman Nunes has refused to answer questions about what he received from Andriy Derkach,” Maddow said at the time. “He has refused to show the contents of the package to other members of the intelligence community.”
“He has refused to hand it over to the FBI which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent,” the anchor added.
However, according to the Fresno Bee, an attorney for Nunes wrote in the lawsuit that on the day he received the package, Nunes sent it unopened to the FBI and requested a meeting with then-Attorney General William Barr. The following month, according to the lawsuit, Nunes and other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee informed the FBI of their concerns about the package.
Maddow also posted a tweet calling for Republicans to kick Nunes out of the party or remove him from their committees.
“How do Republicans keep Devin Nunes on as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee given his unexplained interactions with Andriy Derkach?” tweeted Maddow.
Rachel Maddow was one of the mainstream media figures who notably pushed the theory that Donald Trump was not the country’s legitimate president. Her news network was dedicated to promoting the famous ‘Russia hoax’ to convince its audience that Trump cheated to beat candidate Hillary Clinton.
In his lawsuit, Nunes is asking the jury to determine the compensation he should receive for suffering “insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering and injury to his reputation.”
In 2019 Nunes sued CNN for 435 million for publishing news stories accusing him of participating in a campaign to ‘smear’ Joe Biden.
A judge dismissed the lawsuit in New York because Nunes did not ask the network to retract it at the time.
In March 2019, he sued Twitter for $250 million for censoring conservative users who criticized Democrats while liberals openly mocked him.
The lawsuit was also dismissed under the Section 230 protection that platforms have under which they cannot be held liable for what their users post.