Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter, a former RNC staffer and two parody accounts that impersonated his mother and one of his cows.
In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Henrico County court in Virginia, Nunes claims that Twitter neglected to abide by its terms of service by not removing the parody accounts or taking down tweets that he felt were defamatory.
The lawsuit names Twitter, Liz Mair, a former online communications director with the RNC and current political consultant, and two Twitter accounts — @DevinNunesMom and @DevinCow.
Nunes' lawsuit lists specific tweets that he felt violated Twitter's terms of service. In the case of Mair, Nunes lists multiple tweets in which she links to negative news stories published about the Congressman.
HOLY CRAP: A yacht, cocaine, prostitutes: Winery partly owned by Nunes sued after fundraiser event https://t.co/1jvtS97Ymj
— BrandValue$4B (@LizMair) May 23, 2018
As for the parody accounts, Nunes lists specific tweets in which he felt accounted to "abuse" or "hateful content," both part of which he says violates Twitter's terms of service.
The lawsuit also contains screenshots of those tweets — one of which includes a @DevinNunesMom tweet that depicts Nunes, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump in a "Human Centipede" pose.
Read Nunes' entire lawsuit here .
Devin’s boots are full of manure. He’s udder-ly worthless and it’s pasture time to mooove him to prison. The herd supports @JanzforCongress: Valley resident, anti-crime prosecutor. #CA22 needs a representative who works for us, full time 🐄 https://t.co/SizKWRN9kx
— Devin Nunes’ cow (@DevinCow) October 12, 2018
718 more days until your term is up, Devin. Unless Mueller indicts you first. #nunesmustgo #TrumpNunes #CA22 #MuellerIsComing #ChecksAndBalances #BlueWave2020
— Devin Nunes’ cow (@DevinCow) November 17, 2018
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Twitter suspended the @DevinNunesMom account. @DevinCow remains active.
Mair tweeted that she was declining to comment, but she tweeted a link to where she is accepting donations for her legal defense fund.
Guys, I’m declining comment on this for now but DEVIN NUNES IS SUING ME. If you’d like to contribute to cover my legal expenses please donate here: https://t.co/zcYqrHn6OH
— BrandValue$4B (@LizMair) March 18, 2019
Nunes' lawsuit comes amid cries by Republican politicians that Twitter and other social media companies are being unfairly censored because of their conservative political views. According to the New York Times , Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified in September that he sees no difference in the reach between Republican and Democrat politicians on Twitter.
Nunes' lawsuit also makes the claim that Twitter is "shadow-banning" Republican politicians on the website. While Vice has reported that some conservative politicians' handles failed to appear as an auto-populated option in a search field, there is no evidence that Twitter is intentionally limiting the reach of Republican politicians.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.