Former California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes got some great news from a federal court on Monday.

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Nunes’ defamation lawsuit against former MSNBC host Rachel Maddow can proceed.

The lawsuit makes reference to an allegation from Maddow that Nunes was a stooge for the Russian government. She said Nunes received a package from Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian legislator, but Nunes “refused to hand it over to the FBI, which is what you should do if you get something from somebody who is sanctioned by the U.S. as a Russian agent.”

But in fact, one of Nunes’ aides at the time turned the package over to the FBI the day Nunes received it, unopened.


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U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel rejected NBC’s claim that Maddow’s statements were either true or simple opinions and thus were protected speech under the First Amendment.

Castel said when Maddow said Nunes, who is now CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group, refused to give the package to the FBI, she was claiming a fact not making an opinion.

“The statement in this respect was false, not just technically but also in substance and meaning, and capable of injuring Nunes in his profession,” the judge noted in his ruling, while he dismissed Nunes’s claims that two other statements were defamatory.

Nunes “plausibly allege[d] actual malice,” Castel wrote.

The judge also said Maddow had no source for the Nunes’ story and while she may have known about a similar story in a Politico, “a court does not weigh competing, plausible theories of actual malice on a motion to dismiss.”

Nunes’ lawsuit seeks damages after arguing that MSNBC and Maddow knew that the package in question had been turned over to the FBI. However, the suit further argues that both “set out out to inflict maximum pain and suffering on plaintiff in order to harm plaintiff’s reputation.”


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.