In a column for Washington Post that is both sarcastic and scathing, Dana Milbank mocked Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for spending more time filing lawsuits against his critics than doing the job voters sent him to Washington D.C. to do.
Under a headline stating, “Raise your hand if you have not been sued by Devin Nunes, ” the columnist writes that his own paper has now been served with papers by the California congressman — joining an extensive list that also includes a Twitter “cow.”
“In these grim times — pandemic spreading, markets crashing, society shutting down — it seems there is nowhere we can turn for good news. But there is! Devin Nunes, bless his heart, is still filing lawsuits. The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has aided by a lawyer with a colorful past and a flair for invective, sued just about everybody who criticizes him,” Milbank wrote with tongue in cheek.
As he notes, the list of those who have been served or threatened is quite large.
“To be specific, Nunes has sued: McClatchy. CNN. Hearst Magazines. Fusion GPS. Republican strategist Liz Mair. A watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability. An organic fruit farmer who called Nunes a “fake farmer.” Twitter. A parody Twitter account called “Devin Nunes’ Mom.” A fictitious bovine on Twitter called “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” (“Like Devin Nunes’ Mom, Devin Nunes’ Cow engaged in a defamation campaign,” he alleged in court),” he wrote.
He then added, “Nunes has, through his lawyer, also sent a menacing legal letter to a Fresno County, Calif., deputy district attorney who previously ran against Nunes to cease his support for ‘the @DevinCow Twitter account.’ And he has threatened to sue fellow Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). Lieu’s reply: ‘Take your letter and shove it.'”
Milbank pointedly notes that despite his flurry of lawsuits, Nunes once sponsored the “Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act of 2017.”
“The litigious lawmaker is seeking damages of about $1 billion in his (on occasion careless) lawsuits. He dropped at least one, and another, a racketeering case targeting Fusion GPS and the Campaign for Accountability, was just thrown out by a federal judge who cited doubts about ‘the factual pleadings and the court’s jurisdiction,'” the columnist wrote before adding, “I’m not a lawyer, but there seems to be an obvious problem with Nunes’s strategy. He generally sues for defamation, but nobody could make Nunes look worse than his own lawsuits do. They read less like legal pleadings than ALL CAPS social media rants.”
Help, he said, is on the way because, not only are courts throwing out Nunes’s suits, but there has been increased scrutiny into who is funding the legal assaults.
“Now Nunes finds himself on the receiving end of lawyers’ scrutiny. The Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group, asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Nunes is receiving free legal services from his lawyer, Steven Biss, in violation of House rules. Biss’s filings typically describe Nunes, who made a name for himself during the Russia and Ukraine probes for his assiduous and sometimes unorthodox defenses of Trump, as ‘distinguished by his honor … his honesty, integrity, ethics, reputation for truthfulness and veracity,'” Milbank wrote before adding a sarcastic, “Not to mention his calm demeanor, equanimity in the face of criticism, and dedicated devotion to discouraging frivolous lawsuits.”
You can read the whole piece here.