Twitter has filed a new motion to dismiss a $250 million lawsuit by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) against the company and two parody Twitter accounts that mocked him.
Nunes sued Twitter and @DevinCow and @DevinNunesMom (now suspended) last year, claiming Twitter failed to take action against comments he claimed defamed him. His lawsuit triggered an explosion in the number of followers of the parody accounts.
Twitter argued in a new court filing Wednesday that Nunes can’t sue the social media company for remarks in the parody accounts because federal law gives it “broad immunity” from liability for the comments of its users, The Fresno Bee reported.
“Congress granted providers of online platforms like Twitter broad immunity from claims that seek to hold them liable for harms caused by defamatory or otherwise harmful content that appeared on the provider’s platform but were created by third parties,” the motion to dismiss says.
Nunes argued in his suit last year that Twitter limits conservative viewpoints on its platform due to bias.
Nunes has launched a startling number of lawsuits; it’s not clear if any of them have been successful.
The congressman, who once co-sponsored the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act, is also suing CNN and the parent company of The Fresno Bee, his hometown newspaper. He is also suing a group of his own constituents for calling him a “fake farmer” after it was revealed that the “family farm” he boasts about is in Iowa, not California.
Last week, Nunes’s attorney threatened to sue Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) after the congressman accused Nunes of involvement in Donald Trump’s scheme to pressure Ukraine to launch an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden. Lieu told the attorney to “shove it.” Lieu also responded in his letter: “Truth is a defense.”
Twitter lost an earlier attempt to jettison Nunes’s suit when it argued that the court action couldn’t be filed in Virginia, as Nunes had done. But a judge ruled that one of the account writers lived in Virginia when the suit was filed there, reported The Fresno Bee.
The number of Nunes parody sites exploded after his lawsuit last year.