Rep. Devin Nunes filed a lawsuit Monday seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and some of its users, Fox News reports.
“This is the first of many lawsuits,” Nunes said in an interview Monday with Fox News talk-show host Sean Hannity.
The Tulare Republican alleges that Twitter treated conservatives unfairly in an attempt to influence the 2018 elections, censored opposing viewpoints, and ignored complaints of repeated abusive behavior.
“In a complaint filed in Virginia state court on Monday, obtained by Fox News, Nunes claimed Twitter wanted to derail his work on the House Intelligence Committee, which he chaired until 2019, as he looked into alleged and apparent surveillance abuses by the government,” Fox News reported.
“Nunes said Twitter was guilty of ‘knowingly hosting and monetizing content that is clearly abusive, hateful and defamatory — providing both a voice and financial incentive to the defamers — thereby facilitating defamation on its platform.’ “
Political Strategist Named in Suit
In its story, The Fresno Bee reported:
“Liz Mair — a political strategist who acted against Nunes in the previous election through the Swamp Accountability Project, a dark money group targeting President Donald Trump and his congressional allies — is the only individual named on the lawsuit. Two apparent parody Twitter accounts, ‘Devin Nunes’ Mom’ and ‘Devin Nunes’ cow,’ are also named.”
In the 2018 election, Nunes retained California’s 22nd District seat in the House of Representatives with 52.7% of the vote, beating back Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz, a Democrat whose campaign raised $10 million.
It apparently was an uncomfortable margin of victory for Nunes, who was accustomed to trouncing his opponents or even running unopposed for the seat.
Twitter Declines to Comment
Twitter declined to comment on the lawsuit.
But as The New York Times pointed out, “in public statements, including contentious House committee hearings in September, executives have denied any political bias or agendas. Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of Twitter, told the House committee they had found no difference in the reach of tweets by Democrats and those by Republicans.”