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Devin Nunez Accuses Esquire Of Defamation, ‘Known Left Wing Assassin’ After Him

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes has accused Hearst Communications, the company that owns Esquire Magazine, of sending a “known left-wing assassin” to harass himself and his family.

The representative made the claims on Wednesday and said they were part of a bigger attempt to have a news media campaign against him that involved CNN, Breitbart News reported.

“Hearst Corporation [sent] a known left-wing assassin out to attack and stalk my family,” he said on the episode of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily hosted by Alex Marlow. “Since that time, my family has had nothing but death threats. These go back for nearly four years now, constant death threats, constant harassment, and Hearst is going to pay.”

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“The truth is going to come out and we will get a jury trial, and a jury will see that this is clearly what happened. … [Esquire] never took the story down even though they had no basis to think that me and another congressman and my father were all conspiring to keep the existence of a farm — that I didn’t even own — a secret,” he said.

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“We had CNN — the very next day, within hours of the story coming out — show up out in the middle of the Midwest — far from anywhere, so they must have driven eight or ten hours, whatever it would be from Chicago or somewhere, wherever the local CNN establishment was — to stalk my family even further. This is just hours after the story showed up,” the representative said.

“Then CNN shows up — at the time, [my grandmother] was 98 years old, she’s now passed away — stalking my grandmother out in California on our family farm, our original family barn, which is only a mile from my house. So clearly this was all concocted by [Lizza]. He had to have coordinated with CNN in order to get cameras out, because who goes out following a ridiculous story of a farm that a congressman doesn’t even own?” he said.

Nunes suggested that Republicans stop talking to, what he believes are, Democrat-controlled news organizations.

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“It’s really just the propaganda arm of the Democratic National Committee,” he said, “so why Republicans talk to these people, I have absolutely no idea. I just can’t figure it out. Look — I get it — 95 percent of the media is the propaganda arm of the left. A lot of Republicans will use the excuse that they don’t want to be locked out [or that] you’re better off to make a comment somewhere, but you’re actually not. You’re better off to use the five percent and try to go to all of them.”

A federal appeals court rejected Nunes’ defamation suit on the story, but it did revive his liable claim for when Lizza retweeted it around a year after it was published,” Politico reported.

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The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a lower court judge correctly sided with reporter Ryan Lizza over the 2018 Esquire article, “Milking the System,” about how members of Nunes’ family quietly moved their farming operations to Iowa. However, the three-judge panel said that when Lizza tweeted out a link to the story late the following year, he essentially republished the story after Nunes (R-Calif.) had filed suit over it, rejecting what he said was an implication that the Iowa farm employed undocumented immigrants.

“The complaint here adequately alleges that Lizza intended to reach and actually reached a new audience by publishing a tweet about Nunes and a link to the article,” the judges said.”Lizza tweeted the article in November 2019 after Nunes filed this lawsuit and denied the article’s implication. The pleaded facts are suggestive enough to render it plausible that Lizza, at that point, engaged in ‘the purposeful avoidance of the truth.'”

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