Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, filed a lawsuit against the network Tuesday, seeking damages of more than $435 million.
He’s suing over a November 22 report that Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, was prepared to tell Congress that Nunes met with Victor Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor, in Vienna last year to discuss “digging up dirt” on Joe Biden. Nunes says he never has met Shokin. He also denies that he took a trip to Vienna in December 2018 or that he communicated with Parnas.
The CNN story is sourced to Parnas’s attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, who outlined what his client was willing to reveal.
Nunes denied the claims at the time, but CNN said that he did not respond to them for comment. Instead, he told Breitbart.com that the claims were “demonstrably false.”
CNN declined to comment on the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Nunes’s attorneys wrote that “the ‘trusted’ source of CNN’s fake news story was a man indicted by the United States Government, charged with multiple Federal crimes – a man who faces years in a Federal penitentiary – Lev Parnas.”
The suit adds: “It was obvious to everyone – including disgraceful CNN – that Parnas was a fraudster and a hustler. It was obvious that his lies were part of a thinly-veiled attempt to obstruct justice and to trick either the United States Attorney or House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, into offering ‘immunity’ in return for ‘information’ about Plaintiff – a prominent United States Congressman and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee. There were obvious reasons to doubt the veracity and accuracy of the information Parnas provided.”
The lawsuit claims that CNN “conceived the story line in advance of any investigation and then consciously set out to publish statements that fit the preconceived story.”
The Intelligence Committee report, released by Schiff on Tuesday, included logs of phone calls between Nunes and Parnas in April.