On May 4th, a federal judge in Maryland sanctioned Representative Devin Nunes’s longtime attorney, Steve Biss, for filing a “frivolous” defamation lawsuit against CNN.
Project Veritas, a conservative organization known for surreptitiously recording its subjects, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN on April 26th. The lawsuit alleges that news anchor Ana Cabrera defamed the company during a broadcast on February 15th. Project Veritas claims Cabrera falsely suggested on air that the organization’s Twitter account was suspended for “promoting misinformation.”
The judge wrote that California Representative Devin Nunes failed to state adequate claims and to request a retraction before he filed his lawsuit against CNN.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has filed yet another defamation suit against a media company. On November 11th, Nunes filed a libel suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against The Washington Post and reporter Ellen Nakashima. According to the complaint, The Post published an article that “falsely accused” Nunes of “dishonesty, deception, lying to the American public, spreading disinformation, lack of integrity, and ethical improprieties.”
A federal judge in Atlanta is giving President Donald Trump’s lawyers the opportunity to submit an amended complaint in its libel lawsuit against CNN. Filed in March 2020, the President’s lawsuit alleged that CNN columnist Larry Noble had defamed him in a June 2019 opinion piece when he wrote that “The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia's help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”
Though politicians and journalists need one another, their interactions are by nature often adversarial. A key part of a reporter’s job is to look beyond the story public officials want to tell and to ask uncomfortable questions. But when officials believe reporters go too far, can they ban them from attending future gatherings? And what First Amendment or other rights protect reporters from such actions?
According to the petition, Cohen was asked to sign a form agreeing not to publish the book as a condition of his release. His lawyers and the ACLU are asking the US District Court for the Southern District of New York for his immediate release into home confinement.
Public officials using libel suits as a weapon against the press is nothing new. In the time of Times v. Sullivan, southern officials had brought nearly $300 million in libel actions against the press. For reference, Nunes alone has brought just over $900 million in defamation claims in a twelve-month period.