CNN’s John Avlon used his “Reality Check” segment on “New Day” to both slam and mock Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for filing lawsuits left and right against his critics in an effort to not only silence them, but also squash any inquiries into his avid defense of President Donald Trump.
Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, Avlon detailed the long list of lawsuits Nunes has set in motion –including against a Twitter cow.
“What we’ve been seeing in an absurd string of lawsuits against journalists and social media accounts from Nunes trickling down to one of his former staffers working in the Trump White House,” Avlon began. “You may be aware of Donald Trump’s long history of suing journalists including an architecture critic and journalist Tim O’Brien for saying he was not a billionaire.”
“Recently the Trump family sued a Maryland blogger for comments about Melania and threatened us at CNN with a suit that never materialized,” he elaborated. “Taking a page out of Trump’s playbook, Nunes sued two parody Twitter accounts including one claiming to be his cow. Yes, you heard that right, as well as Twitter itself, for more than a quarter of a billion dollars, and if that seems ridiculous, that’s because it is.”
“The suit claimed, among other things, that ‘Devin Nunes’s cow’ published hundreds of false and defamatory statements against the congressman,” he continued. “An account called ‘Devin Nunes’s mom’ falsely stated that the congressman was voted most likely to commit treason in high school .”
“Talk about snowflakes,” he smirked. “Self-evidently absurd satire against public figures is protected by the First Amendment. This is also especially ironic because Nunes once sponsored the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act, but there is a serious side to this absurdity. He is also suing two individuals personally, [GOP strtaegist] Liz Mair in the $200 million lawsuit and reporter Ryan Lizza who’s also a CNN contributor for $75 million. Nunes brought the suits in Iowa and Virginia rather than his native California because they don’t have strong protections against frivolous lawsuits.”
“This, like the other lawsuits is intended to have a chilling effect on journalism tying up reporters, publishers and critics with potentially crippling legal costs,” he added.