Nunes files defamation suit against CNN over Ukraine story

Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.) filed a defamation suit against CNN on Tuesday over a story reporting that the Republican congressman had traveled to Vienna to meet with foreign officials and discuss finding dirt on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' MORE.

The Washington Times first reported Tuesday that Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, had filed a $435 million lawsuit arguing that the network had defamed him by falsely reporting he had traveled to Vienna and met with a former Ukrainian prosecutor.

A review of the November story in question revealed that the CNN report stated that an attorney for an indicted associate of Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSenate rejects subpoenaing Mulvaney to testify in impeachment trial GOP rejects effort to compel documents on delayed Ukraine aid Citizens United put out a welcome mat for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman MORE, Lev Parnas, said at the time that his client would testify under oath that Nunes had made such a trip, with the attorney claiming that the former prosecutor himself had revealed Nunes's efforts. CNN's article did not independently verify or disprove the claims made by Parnas's attorney.

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"Devin Nunes did not communicate with Parnas in December 2018," read court documents obtained by the Times.

"CNN is the mother of fake news. It is the least trusted name. CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony. It must be held accountable," the documents continued.

Nunes's office and a representative for CNN did not immediately return requests for comment on the lawsuit Tuesday from The Hill.