Devin Nunes Discovery Requests Against Twitter, A Fake Cow, And Liz Mair Show Just How Much A Fishing Expedition He's On

from the oh-come-on dept

We've written a few times now about Devin Nunes' ridiculous lawsuit against Twitter, two parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair. In a news interview back in April, Nunes more or less admitted that these lawsuits were fishing expeditions to reveal journalists' sources on articles about himself that he didn't like. Meanwhile, both Twitter and Mair filed motions in the case saying that a Virginia state court is the wrong venue.

The court held a hearing on those motions today, and while the judge has not ruled, the Fresno Bee's article about the hearing lists out Nunes' discovery requests, which show just how much of a fishing expedition this case is. From the Fresno Bee (which is being sued by Nunes in a separate lawsuit):

His discovery requests are extensive, and include:

  • The identity of anyone Twitter has done business with in Virginia since 2014
  • Any time a Twitter employee has been present in Virginia since 2014
  • Any telephone calls by Twitter employees to somewhere in Virginia since 2014
  • All emails and text messages of Twitter employees or any of the defendants that mention Nunes
  • All information related to the parody accounts @DevinCow and @DevinNunesMom, including phone numbers and all their tweets, messages, likes and retweets
  • Everyone who donated to a political fundraising group called Swamp Accountability Project, which bought radio ads against Nunes, from Jan. 1, 2018 to March 18
  • Mair’s tax returns dating back to 2016 and a report of her assets and liabilities
  • Any communications between Mair or her company that mention Nunes

I mean, almost any one of those is crazy. The identity of anyone Twitter has done business with in Virginia since 2014? Any time a Twitter employee has been present in Virginia? Come on. Obviously, some of those are incredibly weak attempts to show why the case deserves to be in Virginia, but that's not how any of this is supposed to work.

Hopefully the judge sees this for what it is and dumps the whole thing.

For what it's worth, the article does note that the two parody accounts, Devin Nunes' Cow (@DevinCow) and Devin Nunes' Mom (@DevinNunesMom) are both unrepresented in the case:

The parody accounts did not have legal representation, though about 20 people sat in the courtroom in support of @DevinCow, sporting cow shirts, signs, stuffed animals and, in one case, a pair of cow ears.

It's possible that Nunes hasn't even served the two parody accounts yet, which could explain why they don't have lawyers in court yet.

Either way, one hopes that the judge recognizes this case for what it is: a frivolous, speech suppressing, unconstitutional fishing expedition by an apparently hypocritical, thin-skinned Rep. Devin Nunes -- who pretends to be in favor of free speech and against frivolous lawsuits -- and throws out the case entirely.

Filed Under: california, defamation, devin nunes, devin nunes cow, devin nunes mom, discovery, fishing expedition, liz mair, nunes cow, parody, virginia
Companies: twitter


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 12:27pm

    Either way, one hopes that the judge recognizes this case for what it is: a frivolous, speech suppressing, unconstitutional fishing expedition by an apparently hypocritical, thin-skinned Rep. Devin Nunes -- who pretends to be in favor of free speech and against frivolous lawsuits -- and throws out the case entirely.

    One hopes a lot worse than that happens to Nunes. This one hopes his political career is over and that other government employees take notes. One also hopes Nunes has to pay for all of the legal fees and other damages of everyone having to defend against this stupidity. One can but hope this wrecks his family and personal life and he winds up pumping gas into old age, alone and destitute.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 2:26pm

    I haven't seen such a fake pursuit....

    Since that childishly fake Russia hoax the media pushed on us for three years

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 2:46pm

      A hoax wouldn’t end with several people in jail and enough evidence to indict someone for obstruction were they not the sitting president of the United States.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 1:56am

        Re:

        Also, a hoax would not have uncovered actual Russian agents, which the Mueller investigation actually did. The weak minded have been told that since Mueller did not file charges for "collusion" (which he himself stated doesn't have a legal definition he can prosecute under), that means it turned up nothing. The convictions and seizures that took place in the real world say otherwise.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 3:49am

          Just gonna shift these goal-posts a few miles...

          Yes but don't you see, since they didn't manage to indict and secure a conviction of Vladimir Putin himself that means the whole thing was a sham, no matter what other trifling little details/findings/convictions they managed to accidentally stumble upon! /s

          The weak minded have been told that since Mueller did not file charges for "collusion" (which he himself stated doesn't have a legal definition he can prosecute under), that means it turned up nothing

          And, you know, ignoring the fact that according to the rules/standards Mueller conducted the investigation under(and which are apparently government policy) mean there was never going to be charges, since those rules/standards say you can't indict a sitting president(which is bullshit, but whatever...) and therefore that was off the table from the start of his investigation.

          Given that the argument of 'Mueller didn't find the president guilty of X, therefore the whole thing was a sham' is rather like saying 'Mueller didn't find a literal unicorn during the investigation, therefore it was nothing but a hoax.'

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 4:30am

            Re: Just gonna shift these goal-posts a few miles...

            Then, the same people will insist, without a shred of irony, that Clinton needs to be investigated again for Benghazi/emails/whatever because the fact that the previous investigations turned up nothing means that they just weren't looking hard enough...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 6:09am

              Re: Re: Just gonna shift these goal-posts a few miles...

              I was going to say that the obvious 'explanation' they could use for that would be that Clinton is smarter than Trump and therefore better able to hide her actions, necessitating more investigation, but I'm pretty sure the people who still buy the 'Mueller didn't find anything' narrative would rather literally cut one of their hands off than admit that.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 3:02pm

      Re: I haven't seen such a fake pursuit....

      Zof did anyone ever tell you your profile pic looks exactly like what a Russian troll Would look like if he had a bad disguise while he was doing his undercover job as “average American concerned for the future of his country?” Lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 3:30pm

      Re: you people do tend to sound alike

      Poor zof. I keep mistaking your ranting for blueballs

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Aug 2019 @ 7:04pm

        Re: Re: you people do tend to sound alike

        Now that's a scary thought - how fucked up do you have to be to get mixed up with blue?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 3:43am

        Eh, Blue Balls’s ranting is much easier to spot at a glance: Lots of all-caps yelling, lots of anti-Techdirt sentiment, and at least three paragraph breaks per post. (The dumbass doesn’t know how to keep things concise.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 23 Aug 2019 @ 3:19pm

    The identity of anyone Twitter has done business with in Virginia since 2014

    Ah, the Joe Arpaio school of criminal investigation.

    While this litigation was ongoing, in late August 2007, the parent company of the New Times received a grand jury subpoena issued at the request of Dennis Wilenchik, a special prosecutor hired by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to handle the criminal case against the New Times. The subpoena was extremely broad. It asked for all documents related to any articles published about Sheriff Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present. More surprising, it asked for extensive information about all online readers of the New Times from January 1, 2004 to the present, including IP addresses, date and time of visit, type of browser, and websites visited before coming to the New Times site.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 12:20am

    'Case dismissed, now enjoy your 'playing the victim' PR boost'

    Either way, one hopes that the judge recognizes this case for what it is: a frivolous, speech suppressing, unconstitutional fishing expedition by an apparently hypocritical, thin-skinned Rep. Devin Nunes -- who pretends to be in favor of free speech and against frivolous lawsuits -- and throws out the case entirely.

    That would be a good start, yes, though much better would be for the judge to slap Nunes and his lawyers with sanctions and/or some other form of penalty for bringing such blatantly dishonest cases to their court. If someone uses the courts systems for PR they deserve to get slapped down for it, both for their sake and to send a message to others who might be considering the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 24 Aug 2019 @ 10:57pm

    I guess he's going fishing now, to practice for when he's not re-elected next year...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      He won by six points in 2018, a Democratic wave year. While it's possible he could be defeated in 2020, there's likely to be higher Republican turnout in '20 than there was in '18. Nunes is in a very blue state but a very red district. He stands a pretty good chance of being reelected, even though he's awful.

      Though the census is in 2020 and his district might not be there anymore in 2022.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christenson, 25 Aug 2019 @ 11:06am

    Real Cows are insulted by this "Fake" cow...

    On a humorous nitpicking kvetch, this cow is not "fake"..."fake" cows are what goes into veggie burgers and the like (that people might think were akshually cow) and I'm quite sure Mr Nunes' Cow is insulted by being called fake!

    Devin Nunes cow is not fake, it's "Satirical" or "parody" cow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Tanner Andrews (profile), 26 Aug 2019 @ 6:03am

    ) It's possible that Nunes hasn't even served the two parody accounts yet

    Some courts have specific deadlines by which service ought to be made. For instance, in Florida, normally it is 120 days, which would have run by now. See Hodges v. Noel, 675 So.2d 248 (4DCA 1996).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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