Donald Trump ally Nunes denies destroying evidence in defamation … – Reuters
Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., March 2, 2023. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger Acquire Licensing Rights
Nov 9 (Reuters) – Former California U.S. congressman Devin Nunes on Wednesday denied destroying evidence in his defamation case against The Washington Post and asked a U.S. judge to reject the media outlet's bid for an order imposing sanctions on him.
Attorneys for Nunes, a close Donald Trump ally, said in a filing in Washington, D.C., federal court that he has followed court orders and met his obligations to share information as part of his lawsuit against the news media outlet.
The Post last month asked the judge hearing the case to sanction Nunes for missing or destroyed information that the company said would help to counter allegations from Nunes. The Post said Nunes had deprived it of communication records and other documents.
Nunes, who resigned from Congress in 2022 to serve as chief executive of Trump's social media venture, is suing the Post over a November 2020 report about the selection of the National Security Agency's general counsel.
After its publication, the article was corrected to say it had "inaccurately" attributed to Nunes a claim from Trump that the Obama administration had spied on Trump Tower in New York. "Nunes has stated that he did not believe there had been any wiretapping of Trump Tower," the correction said.
The Post has argued that it did not act with "actual malice" — a hurdle for plaintiffs in defamation lawsuits — in publishing the initial report.
Nunes' lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Post declined to comment.
The newspaper in October asked U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols to sanction Nunes by telling jurors at any trial that missing records in the case "would have contained evidence unfavorable" to Nunes' defamation claims and pursuit of damages.
Nunes countered on Wednesday that "there is simply no evidence of an intent to deprive."
Lawyers for Nunes pointed to what they said was "routine destruction of documents that is a standard practice" for departing members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Post's lawyers have not identified "a single record that [Nunes] deleted or withheld that is relevant, non-privileged, actually existed, and is irretrievably lost," attorneys for Nunes told the court.
The case is Devin G. Nunes v. WP Company LLC et al, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:21-cv-00506-CJN.
For plaintiff: Jason Greaves and Shawn Flynn of Binnall Law Group
For defendants: Thomas Hentoff of Williams & Connolly
Washington Post asks US judge to sanction Trump ally Devin Nunes
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Reporting by Mike Scarcella
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Diana Novak Jones
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