Now that he’s not in a position to write fantasy reports gifting Trump with the cleanest slate since … slate, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes has been busy testing the limits, and the patience, of the American legal system. First Nunes sued Twitter along with a couple of parody accounts that included a cartoon cow. Nunes based that suite on a Q-level conspiracy theory that Twitter is secretly hiding the tweets of conservatives, because it isn’t possible that a group that seriously calls themselves “Incels” might simply be unpopular. The big accomplishment of that studied legal filing was to drive the Twitter followers for the cow from 1,000 to over 600,000.
Nunes followed this up with a stunt appearance on Fox News where he announced he was sending eight “criminal referrals” to the Department of Justice for lying to Congress and misleading Congress and “leaking.” The assumption would probably be that Nunes wants to kick Michael Cohen on his way to jail, but since Nunes has let slip that one of his requests is for a “global leak referral,” a thing which does not exist, the actual contents of his note to William Barr are anyone’s guess.
And now, for the man whose constituents clearly sent him back to D.C. so he could shuttle between Fox News and courtrooms, Nunes has announced another lawsuit. From the top legal announcement perch at Hannity, Nunes declared that he was filing a $150 million suit against the McClatchy news service and specifically the Sacramento Bee for a “conspiracy” that was meant to derail his investigation of (deep breath) Hillary Clinton.
Nunes spent most of the episode insisting that he had the backs of conservatives and was going to take out the liberal media. “McClatchy is one of the worst offenders of this. But we’re coming after the rest of them. I think people are beginning to wake up now, I’m serious — I’m coming to clean up the mess.” The phrase “I’m serious” came up several times … which is usually not the best sign that someone is being taken seriously.
But as fun as the idea of Nunes “coming to clean up the mess” may be, the best part comes only by looking at the details of this big money claim. In the actual suit, filed on Monday in a Virginia court, Nunes’s attorney complains about a tweet made by Bee reporter Mackenzie Mays. That tweet happened to include Nunes’s name along with … some other words.
The lawsuit shows a tweet from Mays in which the words “woman,” “Devin,” and “cocaine” are mysteriously highlighted. Nunes, or his attorney, cited the bolding of these words as evidence that Mays was drawing a connection between Nunes and drugs.
Yeah … except that Twitter doesn’t allow words to be bolded. The only way the post would have come up as it did, is if someone was doing a search for those words and happened across the tweet. That someone was clearly either Nunes or Nunes’s attorney. And really, it might be understandable that Devin Nunes makes that same kind of search regularly, seeing that he seems to have a winery where investors were using cocaine.
The real mystery here is that Nunes wasn’t googling his own name along with “underage sex workers.” Or … not on this occasion.