Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., on Tuesday sued CNN for defamation in a $435 million action regarding last month's report that claimed that he had traveled to Vienna last year to find negative information on former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.
"Devin Nunes did not go to Vienna or anywhere else in Austria in 2018," says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia, and reported by The Washington Times.
Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he visited Libya and Malta last year as part of a "codel" — or congressional delegation.
The Nov. 23 CNN story disclosed an attorney for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, said that his client would testify under oath that Nunes had made such a trip.
The lawyer, Joseph Bondy, also claimed that former Ukrainian chief prosecutor Vicktor Shokin himself had disclosed Nunes' efforts to his client, a Soviet-born U.S. citizen and Florida businessman.
Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney and former New York City mayor, was investigating Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 election at the time.
CNN's report did not independently verify or disprove Bondy's claims.
"Devin Nunes has never met Viktor Shokin," the congressman's lawsuit says. "This meeting never took place.
"Viktor Shokin doesn't know and hasn't even heard of Devin Nunes."
Further, "Devin Nunes did not communicate with Parnas in December 2018," the court action says.
"CNN is the mother of fake news," the lawsuit states. "It is the least-trusted name.
"CNN is eroding the fabric of America, proselytizing, sowing distrust and disharmony," the document continues. "It must be held accountable."
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