High-profile House Republican Devin Nunes of California has filed a dizzying array of laughable lawsuits against media outlets and other interests who he alleges have defamed him through means like their basic, factual reporting. This week, in a case that Nunes — who has cast himself as a dairy farmer — brought against Esquire over their publication of the fact that his family actually sold their California farm many years ago and started anew in Iowa, a federal judge insisted that Nunes had completely failed to provide any evidence supporting his defamation claims. Although Nunes was already not exactly a credible figure to many, there’s no reason to take him seriously when he files lawsuits in which the arguments hinge on political tirades rather than actual facts of alleged defamation.
U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams ruled this week that Nunes’s suit against Esquire was in danger of getting thrown out unless the Congressman produced some kind of actual evidence of defamation. In the Congressman’s self-righteous, martyr complex-oriented view of the situation, that defamation must be staggering, because he’s demanded the ridiculous amount of $25 million in damages from the publication. Yet, there remains no evidence.
‘If plaintiffs do not file an amended complaint, the court may dismiss this matter without further action by defendants. The remainder of plaintiffs’ complaint is bereft of any factual allegations pertaining to the truth or falsity of the challenged statements. Rather, the remainder of plaintiffs’ complaint is conclusory in nature. Without knowing which of the facts plaintiffs allege are actually false, defendants are left not knowing how to answer the complaint.’
It’s not exactly surprising for someone like Devin Nunes to file a defamation claim that is “bereft of any factual allegations,” as the judge insists. In the past, Nunes has run far and wide with completely baseless conspiracy theories about supposed secret plots against conservatives who actually just keep tripping themselves up with their own belligerence. More recently, he has even filed a lawsuit against a Twitter account going by “Devin Nunes’ Cow,” whose name mocks his dubious claims to be a dairy farmer. Nunes doesn’t understand satire, perhaps.
A previous one of the many lawsuits that Nunes has filed already got thrown out recently. Nunes sued interests including the political research firm Fusion GPS for supposed “active, coordinated and ongoing corruption, fraud and obstruction of justice” amidst Nunes’s own investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, but a federal judge threw out that lawsuit in February. In that case, the judge wrote that Nunes’s complaint “includes many rote statements of law and conclusory allegations which fall short of satisfying the pleading standard.” In other words — there’s nothing there.
Nunes’s apparent deeply held belief that just about everyone is out to get him and should be challenged in court mirrors behavior from the president himself. Donald Trump has routinely insisted that those who’ve taken the basic step of investigating his team’s rampant misconduct are some kind of nefarious plotters. This week, he even ludicrously suggested that former President Barack Obama should be brought to testify before Congress to answer for his supposed misconduct. It’s important to note — Trump has failed to recently identify a single actual crime that he even alleges that Obama committed.