Rep. Devin Nunes Loses Libel Lawsuit Against Washington Post
From today’s opinion by Judge Amit P. Mehta in Nunes v. WP Co. LLC:
Plaintiff … serves as the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
On February 21, 2020, the [Washington] Post published an article titled “Senior intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump reelected.” The Article reported that Shelby Pierson, a senior U.S. intelligence official, told members of the House Intelligence Committee, including Plaintiff, that Russia had “developed a preference” for President Trump and wanted to see him reelected. According to an unnamed committee official, the briefing was open to all Committee members and covered “election security and foreign interference in the run-up to the 2020 election.” The Article did not specify the date of the briefing.
The Article went on to report that President Trump “learned about Pierson’s remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Republican and staunch Trump ally.” The Article continued: “Trump grew angry at his acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, in the Oval Office, seeing Maguire and his staff as disloyal for speaking to Congress about Russia’s perceived preference.” Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Article noted that “Trump erroneously believed that Pierson had given the assessment exclusively to Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.” The Article did not specify the source or basis for the President’s erroneous belief. President Trump reportedly said that “Maguire should not have let the Capitol Hill briefing happen—particularly before he received the briefing—and that he should not have learned about it from a congressman,” an apparent reference to Plaintiff.
The Article reported that “[Pierson’s] analysis and Trum
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