Nunes files defamation suit against CNN over Ukraine story

Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today Controversy on phone records intensifies amid impeachment Tempers flare at tense Judiciary hearing on impeachment 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 BidenThe media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony The great AI debate: What candidates are (finally) saying about artificial intelligence 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 GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today Controversy on phone records intensifies amid impeachment Tempers flare at tense Judiciary hearing on impeachment 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.