Nunes campaign drops lawsuit against constituents who accused him of being a 'fake farmer'

The campaign for GOP Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesMcCarthy unveils House GOP task forces, chairs Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns Sunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues MORE (Calif.) has dropped its lawsuit against constituents who labeled the congressman a "fake farmer" and filed a writ of election attempting to stop him from calling himself a farmer on ballots, according to The Fresno Bee

The Nunes campaign filed the lawsuit last month in Tulare County Superior Court after a group of constituents claimed that Nunes should no longer be allowed to call himself a farmer since he hadn't received income from the profession in at least 10 years.

Nunes's campaign had reportedly alleged that the group that organized the writ of election conspired with "dark money groups" to harm his campaign. 


Peter Kapetan, a Fresno-based attorney who represented the campaign on the lawsuit, told the Bee that Nunes's campaign dropped the legal action after discovering evidence that would be incorporated into a new lawsuit. 

"We gathered further evidence which supports the plaintiff’s overriding concerns that dark money is being used to influence our elections,” Kapetan said. “Given the new evidence recently discovered, the Nunes campaign committee voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit, and the allegations underlining the lawsuit will be incorporated in a [racketeering] lawsuit filed in Virginia."

Nunes filed the racketeering lawsuit in federal court in Virginia on Wednesday against research firm Fusion GPS and the Campaign for Accountability, the Daily Caller reported. He is accusing the two of working to interfere in his efforts to investigate Fusion GPS and the origins of the Steele dossier. 

Democratic super PAC Fight Back California organized and paid for a writ of election last month in an attempt to prevent Nunes from labeling himself a farmer on California ballots, the Bee noted. The writ was reportedly filed on behalf of retired farmer Paul Buxman, librarian Hope Nisly and Daniel O’Connell, an agrarian scholar. 

The group also sent mailers throughout Nunes's district that referred to the lawmaker as a "fake farmer."

A Sacramento superior court judge denied the writ of election last week.

Brian Whelan, a local attorney representing Nunes’s constituents, said in a statement that his clients "won without having had to square off.” He added that Nunes's lawsuit was an attack on his clients' rights to petition government. 

He also noted that his clients were not named in the most recent lawsuit filed in Virginia. 

Nunes has waged legal action against numerous entities this year. He sued Twitter and a number of its users for $250 million in March, alleging that the tech giant was censoring conservative voices. 

Nunes's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from The Hill.