A Virginia judge ruled this week that Rep. Devin Nunes can sue social media giant Twitter when he rejected the San Francisco company’s argument that the California congressman should not be able to pursue a lawsuit against it in the southern state.
Judge John Marshall denied Twitter’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit from the Henrico County Circuit Court on Wednesday, as first reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. One of the defendants Nunes is suing in the case is a former Virginia resident.
“The plaintiff came from California to Virginia to pursue claims that arose in Virginia against defendants who were in Virginia,” Marshall’s letter says, according to the Times-Dispatch. “The causes of action in this case are interdependent and for the other reasons in this opinion the court will not dismiss the action against Twitter” on claims of inconvenience.
This could be an ominous sign for other Social Media Platforms like Facebook have worked overtime to silence and eliminate conservative voices on their platforms.
Devin Nunes sued Twitter for $250 million in damages for censoring conservatives back in March. Nunes claimed in the 40-page lawsuit, that Twitter sought to influence his 2018 reelection race and interfere with his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Russian involvement in the 2016 elections. Nunes oversaw that inquiry as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — a role he held until Democrats officially retook the House in January.
A Republican political consultant based in Arlington County, Virginia, Liz Mair, is responsible for a slew of defamatory statements about Nunes, the congressman claims, as well as two parody accounts impersonating his mother and a cow, the 22nd District Republican said.Some of the insults by the account @DevinNunesMom he describes as part of a “vicious defamation campaign” include allegations that he has “white supremacist friends,” that he is a “treasonous Putin shill,” and that he is “covering up Trump’s conspiracy against the United States.” Many of the tweets relayed in the complaint are lewd, including tweets depicting Nunes as a cocaine addict, as having a sexually transmitted disease and as having “engaged in sexual acts with the president.”Nunes, who grew up on a dairy farm in the San Joaquin Valley, said the account @DevinCow made a number of false statements about him while employing cattle puns, including that he is “udder-ly worthless and its pasture time to move him to prison.”A member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, Nunes accuses the defendants of working in concert to obstruct his investigations into “corruption and Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Election.”And Twitter actively participated in the scheme, Nunes claims. The platform censored or “shadow banned” his account in order to diminish his voice and “amplify the voices of his Democratic detractors,” and failed to enforce its terms of service by not banning the parody accounts, the congressman alleges.Twitter only banned the account @DevinNunesMom after the congressman’s real mother, Toni Dian Nunes, filed a complaint.A 2018 study by VICE News found that Twitter is censoring top pro-Trump lawmakers.
Twitter’s troll hunt, however, has ensnared some of the most prominent Republicans in the country. Type in the names of McDaniel, conservative members of Congress like Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Matt Gaetz, and Trump Jr.’s spokesman Andrew Surabian, for example, and Twitter’s drop-down search bar does not show their profiles. The search menu also does not display the verified profile of Rep. Devin Nunes of California, only his unverified one that he seldom uses to post.
Related: Laura Loomer gets Facebook to admit to being a Publisher.
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