Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is pushing forward with his widely-mocked lawsuit against the fictional Twitter accounts “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom,” complaining that they are defamatory and have injured his prospects of re-election. Among other things, he is demanding that Democratic National Committee worker Adam Parkhomenko disclose the identity of the accounts.
But according to the Sacramento Bee, an attorney representing Parkhomenko argues that, quite aside from the First Amendment issues with Nunes’ demand, people could not have seriously fallen for the satirical accounts, because — among other things — cows don’t really have Twitter accounts, or even thumbs to type tweets. Thus, there was no injury to Nunes’ reputation.
“No reasonable person would believe that Devin Nunes’ cow actually has a Twitter account, or that the hyperbole, satire and cow-related jokes it posts are serious facts,” said Parkhomenko’s attorney in a filing in Virginia’s Henrico County Circuit Court. “It is self-evident that cows are domesticated livestock animals and do not have the intelligence, language, or opposable digits needed to operate a Twitter account.”
“Defendant ‘Devin Nunes’ Mom’ likewise posts satirical patronizing, nagging, mothering comments which ostensibly treat Mr. Nunes as a misbehaving child,” continued the filing.
Nunes has filed a number of lawsuits against critics in recent months, including against Republican strategist Liz Mair and CNN reporter Ryan Lizza — mostly choosing to file the suits in Iowa and Virginia, because his home state of California has aggressive “anti-SLAPP” laws that would put Nunes on the hook for the defendants’ court costs if the suits are found frivolous. More recently, Nunes brought a lawsuit against CNN for reporting that indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is accusing him of helping President Donald Trump hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden on overseas trips.