Sunday, September 26, 2021

Federal Court restores rep Devin Nunes’ defamation suit against journalist

A federal court on Wednesday reinstated a defamation suit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) over a magazine story about his relatives, months after a lower court dismissed it.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a lower court unfairly favored Ryan Liza in Nunes’ defamation suit. Liza wrote a 2018 article for Esquire that alleged members of the Nunes’ family moved their farming operations to Iowa and employed illegal aliens.

After Nunes filed suit against Liza and Esquire publisher Hearst Magazine Media, the journalist posted a link to her story on Twitter in November 2019. By doing so, the appeals court argued that it essentially republished it even after the suit was filed. Liza joined Politico in August 2019 as its chief Washington correspondent and is still employed there.

Judge Steven Coloton wrote in an opinion (PDF), “The complaint here sufficiently alleges that Liza intended to try and reach a new audience by publishing a tweet about Nunes and a link to the article. ” He was joined by judges Lavensky Smith and Ralph Erikson.

The judge noted that “Liza tweeted the article in November 2019 when Nunes filed this suit and denied the article’s implication,” adding that “the facts of the petition are sufficiently suggestive that Liza, at the time , was engaged in ‘purposeful avoidance’. Truth.'”

And the ruling said that “Based on the presentation of the facts, we think a reasonable readership might draw the implication that Representative Nunes conspired to conceal the farm’s use of undocumented labor as alleged in the complaint.” hatched,” further added that the article also contained allegations “about an alleged conspiracy to conceal the moves of the farm.”

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Such a claim, Coloton added to the ruling, could be “politically harmful to a member of Congress” such as Nunes, who has publicly expressed support for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

In August 2020, Judge CJ Williams dismissed Nunes’ lawsuit, saying he failed to provide evidence that Liza’s article contained false and defamatory statements about her.

“The article is written in a first-person perspective and includes several examples of Liza’s subjective psychic impressions. It goes against statements that could reasonably be construed as statements of fact contrary to Liza’s characterization or opinion.” It is believed,” the judge wrote.

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Nunes is seeking $75 million in defamation compensation and $2.5 million in punitive damages.

Nunes also filed a lawsuit last year against Twitter for two anonymous parody accounts alleging defamation and negligence.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Liza’s lawyers for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips

senior reporter

Jack Phillips is a reporter for The Epoch Times in New York City.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Federal Court restores rep Devin Nunes' defamation suit against journalist
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