CNN is in defiance of a federal judge’s order to respond to a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) over a completely false story the network printed about the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) ranking member late last year, Nunes confirmed in an exclusive interview on Sunday night.
“It’s ironic how all of this blends together,” Nunes said on Breitbart News Sunday. “Remember the reason that CNN went with the story in the first place: it was right after the grand opening of the Democrats’ impeachment charade, and I think by all reasonable accounts, I was the person in the lead on that as the ranking member. And they didn’t like that myself, and John Ratcliffe, and Mike Turner and all the members of Congress — Elise Stefanik, Jim Jordan — I think we did a pretty good job without any witnesses practically destroying their entire narrative because all of their witnesses had no firsthand knowledge.”
LISTEN TO DEVIN NUNES ON BREITBART NEWS SUNDAY:
“That’s kind of the snapshot in time that this occurs — we’re adjourning to go home for Thanksgiving. This story that had been floating around for many months, supposedly. I was in Vienna meeting with Ukraine oligarchs; we had been questioned by many media outlets about this,” Nunes said. “Finally, CNN and the Daily Beast bit. The story came out, per usual, on a Friday night right when everyone was getting home. It was designed to maximize damage to me.”
“I’m used to it — I’ve been going through it for three years,” said Nunes. “They continue to build narratives against me, and I always take it as a compliment because it means we’re doing good work, tough work, and we’re calling things as we see it. When we get attacked, it’s because we’re right over the target, so I don’t mind that, but CNN has been nasty for three years doing lots of nasty stories. I don’t even want to get into all of them, but I think you and your listeners are familiar with most of them.”
“Shortly after that story went out, we gave a very clear denial — actually to Breitbart — we gave a very clear, long statement saying there was no truth to it, whatsoever. Within hours, and even that night, we said if there isn’t an apology and this isn’t dealt with quickly, we’re going to see you in federal court,” Nunes continued. “I’m not going to debate you and play this tit for tat and play these games. You went with this story, and you don’t have any sources except for Parnas’ dirty lawyer, so do what you should do or we’ll see you in federal court. So, of course, they did nothing over Thanksgiving, and I went into federal court and I had pictures of myself in Benghazi — which is one of the most dangerous places in the world — and then in Malta loading up the remains of a soldier from World War II that we were moving onto an airplane to bring home the remains.”
“So, you know, very clearly, I was doing work that most Americans would expect their chairman at the time of the Intelligence Committee to be out doing. Then, later, Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor said he didn’t even know who I was. Since then, he’s been interviewed and, of course, he said that he wasn’t in Vienna at the time either.”
After Nunes initially filed the lawsuit, CNN asked for an extension until Friday, Jan. 17, to respond to the suit. Nunes and his legal team agreed to the extension request, and the federal judge overseeing the case ordered the network to substantively respond to the facts in Nunes’ lawsuit by Jan. 17.
“The timing of this, the defamation, the malice — really nasty,” Nunes continued. “CNN’s owned by AT&T. The breaking news that you’re getting at is we gave them an extension, but they refused to meet us in court. They have refused to have a conference to discuss these issues. We gave them an extension until Friday. The judge ordered them to answer our complaint and make any motions.”
As of this writing and Nunes’ exclusive interview Sunday night on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, CNN has not responded to the Nunes suit — meaning, according to Nunes, CNN is currently defying a federal judge’s order on this matter.
“Well, they refused to answer,” Nunes said. “The only logical answer as to why they’re refusing to answer our complaint is because they have no evidence. The only evidence they have is from a lawyer who’s trying to cut a deal with Adam Schiff and the Democrats to try to get leniency or immunity from his impending prosecution by the Justice Department for major federal crimes.”
“The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. I think it shows how corrupt the media has become. Now they have embroiled AT&T. A lot of people forget AT&T — a major U.S. company — they bought Time Warner. They own CNN. They have just refused — no matter how much evidence there is — they have refused to do anything. They have refused to take down this story. Look, I have — this has a lot to do with impeachment. Every night, CNN runs fake stuff on Lev Parnas attacking the president of the United States and supporting the impeachment. I don’t know what the federal judge is going to do, but right now, they are in defiance of a federal judge who has ordered them to answer to my complaint, and they’re not doing it.”
Nunes told Breitbart News that CNN’s refusal to comply with a federal judge’s order now directly implicates the organization’s entire ownership, including its parent company AT&T, and AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson, and all of AT&T’s board members.
“If the mainstream news media was covering this, AT&T’s CEO and their board would be on the front page of every major newspaper not responding to something that has something directly to do with the impeachment of the president of the United States,” Nunes said. “This is a guy they continue to prop up, Lev Parnas. If it’s proven that Parnas is lying or lied to CNN, which they clearly did — so that’s why we believe that CNN and AT&T are refusing to respond to a federal judge. I’m guessing they are hoping the judge gives them a month or two so it allows them to get past their Lev Parnas nonsense and get past impeachment. But the fact remains this is doing tremendous damage to not only myself but to the Republican Party — the timing of all this and their refusal to retract is just incredible.”
While CNN has not complied with the judge’s order to respond to the lawsuit, the network did file a motion to dismiss the case, citing a California state law that requires a retraction request with 20 days and claiming that Nunes did not ask for a retraction of the false story even though Nunes’ original statement to Breitbart News the night CNN printed the inaccurate story made clear it was “false and scandalous” and represented a “perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth.”
“There’s a lot of problems with that [CNN’s motion to dismiss the case],” Nunes said on Breitbart News Sunday. “Remember, we already gave them an extension [to respond to the facts of the case]. They asked for an extension because they were supposed to have their response, I think, it was the day after Christmas or a couple days after Christmas, and they said ‘oh it’s the holidays; can we have a little bit more time?’ We said ‘sure.’ I didn’t like the fact they were refusing to have a conference on this — it was in federal court — but it was the holidays, so we said sure.”
“So remember, these are smart lawyers. They got a dozen or so lawyers signed up that are working on this case. They know what it means when a federal judge gives them two requirements: One was to answer the complaint. That has a clear legal definition. That means they have to respond to everything I say in my complaint. Secondly, they had to make any motions they wanted to make. That’s where they made this motion to dismiss, and I think equally it’s ridiculous — I’m not a lawyer — but they’re trying to say California law applies to me everywhere around the world, everywhere I go, as it relates to CNN, which is absolutely absurd. I think most people would know that. There’s no case law that shows that … This case has zero to do with California. You could argue it has something to do with Vienna. You could argue it has something to do with Washington, DC, or Atlanta, but to argue that I, as an individual, am subject to California law while we’re in federal court is very, very silly. As you said, we couldn’t have been more clear. We gave a long statement to Breitbart. What they’ll say is they’ll consider Breitbart right-wing and not a good enough place to ask for a retraction.”