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Devin Nunes has to turn over details on his job for Trump's company in lawsuit he started

Gillian Brassil, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — More details about former Congressman Devin Nunes’ assumption of Truth Social could be revealed as part of a lawsuit that he filed against a magazine company.

Lawyers for the magazine company, which Nunes sued over an article about his family’s Iowa dairy farm, contend the information will show that the 2018 story did not harm his reputation in the form of $75 million the congressman seeks.

Nunes’ lawsuit, started when he was representing California's Central Valley in the House of Representatives, is one of many that he filed against media companies and critics before he became the chief executive officer of former President Donald Trump’s media venture.

A judge in a U.S. District Court in Florida, where Trump Technology and Media Group, or TMTG, operates, ruled Monday that the company must offer up the information surrounding Nunes’ employment for the magazine company.

The order to release documents surrounding Nunes' hiring at TMTG, is one of several legal setbacks he has suffered since leaving political office.

Nunes said that he was leaving Congress in early December 2021, resigned in January 2022 and took over Truth Social immediately. The congressman, who represented Tulare and Fresno counties in Congress for nearly two decades, signaled no attempt to end one of the 10 defamation lawsuits he started in a string since 2019.

 

The one against Esquire Magazine, owned by Hearst, concerned a 2018 story about Nunes’ family’s dairy farm in Iowa. The story, written by the magazine’s former employee, Ryan Lizza, suggested that the family knowingly hired undocumented immigrants.

Lizza’s story is titled “Devin Nunes’ Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret.” He also is a defendant in Nunes’ suit.

Nunes does not have a stake in his family’s farm. He and his family denied that they knowingly used undocumented labor. In separate cases, Nunes and his family sued both Hearst and Lizza, though they had a mutual lawyer, Steven Biss, who has represented the congressman in most of his defamation cases.

A judge for the U.S. District Court in Northern Iowa joined Nunes’ and his family’s lawsuits against Hearst and Lizza, despite the Nunes family's desire not to, in February. Attorneys for Nunes and his family were concerned that the family would be confused for public figures, who have harder times collecting damages in defamation lawsuits.

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