Last updated on January 5, 2021
Another Trump-Russia participation trophy, because Devin was so stupid he won’t get an indictment until Trump leaves office.
Nunes has filed multiple lawsuits characterized as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPP“). Experts have described the lawsuits as “unlikely to succeed” and “virtually free of merit”.
On March 18, 2019, Nunes filed a defamation lawsuit against Twitter, Elizabeth “Liz” Mair, Mair Strategies LLC, and the Twitter accounts, “Devin Nunes's Mom” (@DevinNunesMom) and “Devin Nunes's Cow” (@DevinCow), seeking $250 million in damages. As the story went viral, the popularity of the defendants' accounts soared, gaining more followers than Nunes's own account. The San Francisco Chronicle cited this as an example of the Streisand Effect. Kathryn Watson of CBS News said the filing was “particularly interesting” because in 2018 Nunes supported the “Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act”. A filing to quash a subpoena argued that “no reasonable person would believe that Devin Nunes's cow actually has a Twitter account” as cows “do not have the intelligence, language, or opposable digits needed to operate a Twitter account”. On June 24, 2020, a judge ruled that Twitter was immune from Nunes's suit because of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
— Anagram Man 🇺🇸 (@ConserveLetters) January 4, 2021
Nunes may yet get his time in the barrel.
In March 2017 the U.S. House intelligence committee, which Nunes chaired at the time, launched an investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. On April 6, 2017, he temporarily stepped aside from leading that investigation while the Office of Congressional Ethics investigated allegations (which Nunes denied) that he had improperly disclosed classified information to the public. In December 2017 the Republican-majority U.S. House Committee on Ethics closed its investigation without taking any action against Nunes.
In February 2018, Nunes publicly released the Nunes memo, a four-page memorandum alleging an FBI conspiracy against Donald Trump. Nunes subsequently began an investigation of the FBI and the Justice Department for allegedly abusing their powers in an attempt to hurt Trump.
On March 22, 2017, during the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, Nunes held a press conference to announce that he had received information that the communications of “some members of Trump's transition team, including potentially the president himself” had been “incidentally collected” by the intelligence community and “widely disseminated” throughout the intelligence community. He added that it was legal FISA surveillance, and unrelated to Russia. It was later revealed that it involved Russia and the Trump transition team. The surveillance was of multiple phone conversations between Michael Flynn, a member of the transition team, and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which occurred after Flynn sought advice from the Trump transition team at Mar-a-Lago, where they discussed what Flynn should tell Kislyak “about the administration's stance on the sanctions. [Kislyak had contacted Flynn the day before] … members of the team at the president's Florida estate agree that they do not want Russia to escalate the diplomatic crisis. After the initial call, Flynn [spoke] with Kislyak multiple times by phone and urge[d] him not to exacerbate the situation. U.S. intelligence officials intercept[ed] the calls as part of their routine surveillance of foreign dignitaries.”
Nunes had met his source for the information one day earlier at the White House grounds, with a spokesman for Nunes claiming this provided “a secure location” to view the material. Although Nunes had characterized his intelligence sources as whistle-blowers whose identities he had to protect, The New York Times reported that they were actually White House officials Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, while The Washington Post reported that along with Cohen-Watnick and Ellis, a third man, National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg, was involved.
Nunes was widely criticized for sharing this information with the media and the president before briefing his colleagues on the committee. According to Nunes, the intercepted communications came in November, December and January—after Trump won the election but before he was sworn in as president. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, and House Democratic leadership called on Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation. He also received criticism from Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The latter compared Nunes's actions to those of the comically incompetent fictional character Inspector Clouseau. Nunes was criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for sharing information on an investigation of the Trump campaign with the administration without communicating it to Schiff, his Democratic Intelligence Committee counterpart.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 14, 2019
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