Devin Nunes and his attorney could face court sanctions after angering judges with 'absurd' filings
Fresno Republican Devin Nunes, photo by Gage Skidmore.

The attorney for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) could face court sanctions after receiving a pair of warnings from judges.


Steven Biss is representing Nunes and others in a variety of lawsuits, and some of the individuals and organizations they're suing have asked judges to punish the attorney for filing complaints accusing news outlets and Democrats of conspiring to hurt his clients, reported The Fresno Bee.

In addition to Nunes, the attorney is representing a Russian graduate student who was mentioned in news stories about former national security adviser Michael Flynn and a multimillionaire accused of circulating conspiracy theories about the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer in summer 2016.

National Public Radio, Twitter and a government whistleblower advocate have each requested court sanctions against Biss, as did Fusion GPS, which paid former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump's connections to Russia.

Nunes lost his case against Fusion GPS in February, when a federal judge dismissed the complaint and told Biss that he would need to file a more substantive complaint or face sanctions.

Biss and Nunes resubmitted the case last month with a complaint very similar to their original argument, and Fusion GPS' lawyers asked the judge to sanction the pair over their "absurd" new filing.

“[The complaint] is so packed with irrelevant, frivolous and malicious allegations that it is impossible to decipher what conduct (Nunes) alleges is unlawful,” Fusion GPS attorneys argued.

A federal judge also smacked Biss as part of his lawsuit on behalf of the Russian graduate student, and told him he must follow federal law if he files another claim.

“If I got one warning like that from a judge, I would be extremely careful going forward,” said Kevin Martingayle, a former Virginia State Bar president. “I can’t recall seeing it in an order after practicing law for 30 years, which has included some pretty contentious defamation cases."