As Court Finally Dumps One Of Devin Nunes' Ridiculous Lawsuits (With A Warning About Sanctions), Nunes Promises To File Another
from the never-ending dept
Back in September, we wrote about Devin Nunes dropping the only lawsuit he’d filed in California against some of his critics, only to immediately file an absolute laugher of a lawsuit against Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, alleging racketeering (RICO) claims. Nunes claimed — ridiculously — that he’d obtained the info he needed from the California lawsuit (where he might have faced anti-SLAPP claims) in order to file this new lawsuit. As we noted at the time, Ken “Popehat” White’s usual warning of IT’S NOT RICO, DAMMIT totally applied to this new case. And, contrary to one of our more amusing commenters who insisted that this case was solid, Judge Liam O’Grady appears to have made quick work of it, dismissing it as nonsense with an incredibly short and to the point ruling (Politico first broke the news):
As presently pled, the Amended Complaint includes many rote statements of law and conclusory allegations which fall short of satisfying the pleading standard per Bell Atl. Corp. v Twombly… Thus, the instant complaint is insufficient to support a substantive ruling on these issues. Accordingly, Defendants’ motion to dismiss… are hereby GRANTED.
The Twombly case is an important one in dismissing cases like this, more or less saying you can’t just throw a bunch of speculation at the wall and allege a conspiracy — you need to allege actual facts. Unsurprisingly, Devin Nunes’ busy lawyer, Steven Biss, failed to do so in this lawsuit that always appeared to be about performing for Nunes and Trump supporters, rather than bringing any sort of legitimate legal claim.
The judge did make the dismissal without prejudice, meaning Biss/Nunes can refile, but Judge O’Grady did warn them that doing so without more substance may lead to Biss facing Section 11 sanctions:
Mindful of the latitude provided in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, Plaintiff shall have thirty days from the date of this order to file a second amended complaint if he can do so pursuant to Rule 11.
I’m not sure Biss will take the hint.
In the meantime, this did not slow Nunes down from promising to sue again. The very same evening that he lost this lawsuit, Nunes went on Fox News (of course) with promises to sue the Washington Post for claiming in a story that Nunes shared with President Trump the details of a classified briefing by intelligence official Shelby Pierson to the House Intelligence Committee. As you may have heard elsewhere (if you haven’t been living under a rock), Pierson apparently briefed the Committee to say that Russia was once again seeking to interfere in the US Presidential election, and that it hoped to help Trump win a second term. This briefing allegedly resulted in Trump cleaning house with a bunch of intelligence officials, and inserting friends instead.
?I don?t know what planet the Washington Post is on,” Nunes said. “But they?ll have an opportunity in federal court in the next couple weeks to explain who their sources are, because I?m going to have to take them to court because I didn’t go to the White House. I didn’t talk to President Trump, Harris. So, this is the same garbage.”
Remember back when Rep. Nunes claimed he was a free speech supporter?