Congressman Devin Nunes is suing MSNBC after alleging “spiteful” host Rachel Maddow repeatedly smeared him on air by accusing him of treason and obstruction of justice. The California Republican, 47 filed the defamation lawsuit in Texas on Tuesday. He claims Maddow and MSNBC have shown “hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will” in their coverage of him, the suit says.
Nunes argues he’s being targeted because he has emerged as “the most prominent skeptic in Congress of Maddow’s marquee news narrative from 2017 to 2019: that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 presidential elections.”
In the lawsuit, Nunes specifically took issue with comments Maddow made during her March 18 show where she claimed the Congressman had refused to hand a package he’d received from a suspected Russian agent to the FBI — a claim he refutes.
“Congressman Nunes has refused to answer questions about what he received from Andriy Derkach. He has refused to show the contents of the package to other members of the intelligence community,” Maddow said on air, according to the suit.
Nunes says Maddow’s on-air statements falsely accuse him of treason and obstruction of justice, adding that they were “republished millions of times on the Internet and via social media” after she tweeted them.
Maddow tweeted at the time: “How do Republicans keep Devin Nunes on as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee given his unexplained interactions with Andriy Derkach?”