Former GOP Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) recently received good news as a federal court in Manhattan ruled in favor of Nunes’ defamation lawsuit against former MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
The judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed. Maddow claimed that Nunes was essentially a Russian agent for the Russian government.
Maddow said Nunes had a package from Andriy Derrick, a Ukrainian legislator who supports Russia, but Nunes “refused to hand it over to the FBI, which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent.”
Nunes did have one of his staffers hand over the package to the FBI the day the Representative received it.
U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel denied NBC’s stance concerning Maddow’s statements were either accurate or simple opinions that would be protected speech under the First Amendment.
Castel swatted down NBC’s claim and noted that Maddow was stating a fact when referring to Nunes refusing to give the package to the FBI and was not merely giving her opinion.
“The statement in this respect was false, not just technically but also in substance and meaning, and capable of injuring Nunes in his profession,” the judge claimed.
The judge noted that Maddow issued no source for Nunes’ story. While she may have read about a similar report from Politico, “a court does not weigh competing, plausible theories of actual malice on a motion to dismiss.”
Nunes is currently the CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group, whose reputation keeps expanding with bright accolades. Crucial for Nunes to get these false accusations cleared up.
Nunes’ lawsuit seeks damages from MSNBC and Maddow knowingly reported false information as the package was turned over to the FBI. The suit continues to argue that both “set out to inflict maximum pain and suffering on plaintiff in order to harm plaintiff’s reputation.”
This lawsuit may seem like a minor incident within mainstream defamation cases, but the GOP will view this as a colossal victory.
It may bend progressive talk show hosts’ viewpoints less opinionated, pressuring media companies to report real-time facts instead of washed-up observable opinions.
Former congressman and Donald Trump ally Devin Nunes has cleared an early hurdle in a lawsuit accusing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow of smearing him on her show https://t.co/KtEFYhiBT1
— Bloomberg (@business) November 29, 2022