A Virginia judge dismissed the second of two lawsuits California Rep. Devin Nunes filed against a Republican political strategist who he claimed spread defamatory information about him in the buildup to his 2018 reelection campaign.
Nunes filed several defamation lawsuits in 2019 for false statements he feels have harmed his reputation, including lawsuits against Twitter, two anonymous Twitter users, and several prominent media outlets.
Judge John Marshall's ruling from earlier this month in the Henrico County Circuit Court dismissed a case Nunes filed against Liz Mair, Twitter, and anonymous Twitter users who heckled him under the fictional personas of a cow and the congressman's mother.
The judge previously dismissed Twitter from the lawsuit, which means Nunes cannot sue the company in that court over the same claims he raised in the case. Nunes continues to attempt lawsuits against the Twitter accounts @DevinCow and @NunesAlt, but he has not been successful at serving them with a complaint.
The ruling to dismiss Mair said the complaint failed to describe the exact words used to defame Nunes, according to documents obtained by the Fresno Bee.
"The facts alleged fail to support a reasonable inference that Mair made any of the alleged statements with the requisite intent of actual malice," the ruling added.
Nunes claimed that the anonymous defendants defamed his character by making crude comments on Twitter using the @DevinCow and @NunesAlt accounts during his 2018 reelection campaign. Nunes sought $250 million from Mair in the Henrico County lawsuit.
Nunes requested that the court in Henrico County "reveal the names and contact information of the persons behind the accounts 'Devin Nunes' Mom', 'Devin Nunes' cow', 'Fire Devin Nunes,' and 'Devin Nunes Grapes'," according to a copy of the March 2019 complaint obtained by Washington Examiner.
"It is ridiculous that we have had a sitting United States congressman suing a fake farmyard animal, let alone me, for being mean to him on Twitter," Mair told the Fresno Bee.
In the second case against Mair, filed in Albemarle County, Nunes sought $150 million before Judge Claude Worrell dismissed Mair from the claim. Nunes is reportedly appealing, a court clerk told the outlet.
"He may yet appeal," Mair said. "Though as I understand it, that process could occur years or even decades from now, given the inability of Rep. Nunes to 'unmask' the cow and the mom in that case and the possibility that the case never reaches a resolution whether through court action, settlement, or dismissal of the cow and the mom from the suit."
The McClatchy Company, the parent company of the Fresno Bee, was also named as a defendant in Nunes's Albemarle County lawsuit against Mair regarding a 2018 news story, but Nunes dropped McClatchy as a defendant while the company was declaring bankruptcy last year.
The Washington Examiner contacted Nunes and Mair but did not immediately receive responses.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese