Devin Nunes files defamation suit against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed suit against NBCUniversal Media on Tuesday, claiming MSNBC host Rachel Maddow defamed him while making statements on her show suggesting he was colluding with a Russian agent to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Nunes is seeking monetary damages for allegations that Maddow falsely accused him of criminality and exposed him to “public ridicule, scorn, contempt, censure, and prejudice,” according to the complaint filed in federal court in Texas.

The lawsuit revolves around a March 18 broadcast of the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC when Maddow proclaimed that Nunes accepted a package from Andrii Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s legislature who has been deemed a Russian spy by the United States. Maddow claimed Nunes withheld the content of the package from intelligence authorities.

“He has refused to hand it over to the FBI, which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent,” Maddow said, according to the suit.

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, denied personally accepting a package from Derkach in his complaint, which provided a letter addressed to former Attorney General Wiliam Barr requesting a meeting.

The complaint also mentions various tweets showing Maddow’s claim being repeated, saying they falsely accuse him of “serious breaches of the Code of Conduct and violations of protocols concerning the handling of information that comes to the House Intelligence Committee from foreign sources.”

“In spite of their express knowledge, MSNBC and Maddow falsely accused Plaintiff of refusing to turn over the package to the FBI, an intentional breach of intelligence community protocol, a breach that clearly impugns Plaintiff’s character and prejudices him in the performance of his Congressional oversight duties,” the complaint said.

Over the last year, judges have tossed out three other lawsuits Nunes has filed against various media companies or social media platforms. 

The Independent Chronicle contacted NBCUniversal for comment but did not immediately receive a response.